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Consumers Want Amazon to Sell Drugs

February 11th, 2019

Amazon is the place to shop for everything from electronics to clothing to auto parts and even groceries. And most Amazon shoppers pay $119 a year to get 2-day shipping, Prime video, free photo storage and access to exclusive deals and more.

amazon product survey

But what you can't get on Amazon are drugs.

That's likely to change soon, and when it does the giant retailer will have a ready market. An survey found almost 4 in 10 consumers would readily buy Amazon-branded prescription drugs; 30% would buy medical marijuana from the company.

Amazon sells plenty of medical supplies and all the over-the-counter remedies and drugs at the kind of discounted prices the retailer is known for. Prescription drugs aren't among them. But last year, the company signaled it's intention to conquer that frontier when it bought internet pharmacy PillPack for about $1 billion. In recent months, the Arizona pharmacy has been applying for state pharmacy licenses, which will enable it to make shipping easier and directly from its Phoenix facility.

Analysts believe PillPack's licensing applications as a step to testing consumer-direct prescription drug retailing with its own employees. "The company often pilots new product offerings (Amazon Locker, Amazon Go cashier-less stores) for its own employees and/or in geographies with higher employee concentrations like Seattle prior to a national rollout," according to an analysis from one financial services firm.

Consumers certainly expect Amazon to offer prescription drugs on the marketplace. The survey found 9.3% of the consumers it talked to anticipating Amazon will sell drugs. What's even more anticipated are the sale of Amazon-branded computers (17.5%) and medical marijuana (13.5%).

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