There’s something of an epic conflict occurring right now between CVS and Amazon, and it’s over a fair share of the retail end of the medical industry. Actually, CVS more appears to be finding themselves a way to keep their clientele from jumping ship to the net-based giant as Amazon takes its first steps into the pharmaceutical side of business. Nobody used to look at Amazon as having any sort of affiliation with pharmacies or their products; at best, you can find supplements and general herbs on their site, but they can’t offer actual prescriptions or real drugs until they obtain a license and follow ordinances from state to state that regulate the who, what and how.
To say that medical companies are in a bit of a panic is an understatement. Amazon has a frustrating tendency to barge into new industries with offerings that either wipe out the competition or force them into a retracted position where they can only operate on a limited scale. That’s just assuming the monolith doesn’t swallow them whole or force them to jump off a cliff somewhere, and we’ve all seen what happened to Whole Foods and Toys “R” Us. The same problem is manifesting in the likes of Costco, FedEx and UPS, Etsy, Foot Locker and grocery stores everywhere. The convenience of ordering a drone delivery for your goods is just too enticing.
Currently, CVS is trying to get Aetna on board with their store operations in hopes of offering health insurance over the counter in every store. This means that CVS will give customers a compelling reason to actually get out of bed, drive to a CVS location and walk in to get their milk, supplements, prescriptions and health care services. Of course, they’ll also keep the web-base option for those who need it — why not? It works, so the least they can do is upgrade the back-end hardware and networking equipment to suit their new business model. For that, there are whispers that Drew Madden may get involved with this, which could give CVS the leg-up that it needs to keep Amazon out.