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Hospital supplier shares dive as Amazon reportedly ramps up medical supply business

  • Amazon is looking to expand its medical supplies Amazon Business marketplace offering to serve the health-care industry, according to hospital executives cited by The Wall Street Journal said.
  • Shares of health-care supplier and services companies McKesson, Cardinal Health and Owens & Minor all dropped Tuesday.

Amazon is gearing up to launch a larger offering in the medical supplies business, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The revamped service will serve hospitals and clinics. The e-commerce giant is looking to expand its Amazon Business marketplace to serve the health-care industry, according to hospital executives cited by the Journal. Amazon Business already has a smaller offering of medical supplies.

Shares of health-care supplier and services companies McKesson, Cardinal Health and Owens & Minor fell. Owens & Minor plunged 4.8 percent; Cardinal sank 3.4 percent and McKesson slid 1.9 percent.

Amazon has been making moves and dramatically disrupting the health-care industry over the last year. CNBC reported in May that Amazon was more serious about its consideration to enter the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market.

In October, analysts and the media noticed Amazon was granted wholesale distribution licenses for medical devices in several states. The license was first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

CVS Health announced in December it will acquire Aetna for about $69 billion in cash and stock. Wall Street analysts and former Aetna CEO John Rowe said the merger was triggered by concerns Amazon will enter the drug business.

Last month, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan Chase announced a partnership to cut health costs and improve services for employees. The announcement was light on details, but said three top executives from each company will take the lead on the project.

Amazon, McKesson and Owens & Minor did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Cardinal Health declined to comment.

Amazon shares rose 2 percent Tuesday.

Read The Wall Street Journal's full article here.