Amazon in talks with PBMs over pharma supply chain

Amazon is reportedly communicating with pharmacy benefit managers about potential drug contracts, according to a Leerink Partners analysis cited by CNBC.

Amazon has been hiring more healthcare leaders and expanding its drug and medical supply distribution in recent months, spurring rumors the online retailer is stepping into the pharmacy business.

The company may "indeed be in conversations with some middle-market PBMs now, in an effort to get into various contract arrangements," the Leerink analysis states, adding that Amazon could pose a "bigger threat" to the pharmaceutical industry than many individuals expect.

However, it could take 18 months to 24 months before Amazon can achieve pharmacy licenses in all 50 states, according to the analysis.

Amazon in March hired Mark Lyons — a former manager of pharmacy services at Premera Blue Cross — as the company's senior manager of pharmacy benefits. Mr. Lyons will build an internal pharmacy benefits manager for Amazon employees, which could eventually be expanded.

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