walmart Daniel Becerril/Reuters
  • Amazon just signaled its intent to get into the pharmaceutical business through the acquisition of a startup called PillPack.
  • The deal came just a few months after Walmart was reported to be thinking of buying PillPack. Walmart lost about $3 billion in market cap on Thursday after Amazon announced it had bought the pharmacy startup.
  • That impact to Walmart’s valuation over a reported $1 billion deal shows how intense the rivalry between the two retail giants has gotten.

Amazon threw the entire pharmacy industry into a tizzy last week when it announced its plans to acquire PillPack, a small startup that mails prescriptions to people who take multiple medications.

Among the companies hit: chief rival Walmart, which lost about $3 billion in market cap after the deal was announced.

Walmart had offered $700 million for PillPack, but dragged its feet over regulatory concerns, according to CNBC. Amazon stepped in and offered a reported bid of just under $1 billion.

The stock drop which occurred as a result of Walmart not buying PillPack shows just how tense the long-simmering rivalry between Amazon and Walmart has gotten, particularly around the elderly population.

An aging population

The US population is aging. By 2050, the number of people over the age of 65 is expected to be double what it was in 2012.

An aging population means we’ll see an increase in health concerns and chronic conditions like…