Rite Aid plunged 11.1 percent, Walgreens Boots Alliance sank 9.9 percent and CVS Health fell 6.1 percent, respectively. The three companies collectively lost approximately $11 billion in market value on Thursday alone. Conversely, Amazon shares rose nearly 2.5 percent, adding more than $19.8 billion in market value.
PillPack is an online pharmacy that packages, organizes and delivers presorted doses of medications. Its website says it is licensed to ship prescriptions in 49 states. In November, its CEO said it was on track to post more than $100 million in revenue for 2017.
“PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology,” Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer, said in a statement. “PillPack is meaningfully improving its customers’ lives, and we want to help them continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier. We’re excited to see what we can do together on behalf of customers over time.”
Investors have long expected that Amazon would disrupt the pharmacy business. In May 2017, CNBC reported Amazon was hiring people to break into the multibillion-dollar market. In October, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Amazon had received approval for wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least 12 states, a report that sent these same stocks reeling that day. All three stocks — Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid — are down more than 10 percent the last 12 months, in part because of this fear.