Walgreens Boots Alliance’s CEO Stefano Pessina on Thursday shrugged off the idea that Amazon might get into the drugstore business, saying the e-commerce giant was more likely to focus on less complicated retail areas. “Honestly I don’t believe that Amazon will … because they have so many opportunities around world and in many other categories, which are much, much simpler than healthcare, which is a very regulated business,” Pessina told analysts, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.
Amazon already sells medical devices and employs executives to deal with health care-related regulatory issues, and is said to be exploring how to ramp up its efforts in the pharmacy space.
Despite reservations, Pessina did say that Walgreens would be open to partnering with Amazon if it came to that: “If we were wrong and our belief was wrong, I believe that at the end of the day, we could find our goal in the new environment and we wouldn’t exclude to partner with them, we wouldn’t exclude to analyze the new situation of the market and to find our place adapting ourselves.”
Sales of prescription drugs provide drugstore chains with a steady stream of customers, but it’s a volatile space. Big-dollar corporate and government contracts are won and lost, generic versions of often-prescribed medicines can ding sales, and the Affordable Care Act…