PillPack, the Internet pharmacy that Amazon acquired in 2018, has updated its logo and other paperwork to include a new “Amazon Pharmacy” brand, and sources say its CEO has been promoted to vice president within Amazon.
Specifically, the group’s branding has changed from “PillPack, an Amazon company” to “PillPack by Amazon Pharmacy.” It’s the first public reference to Amazon Pharmacy, an entity that many analysts expect will eventually do more than mail delivery of medicines through PillPack.
Today, PillPack specializes in fulfilling multiple prescriptions and mailing them to customers in clearly labeled packages so they remember to take their pills at the appropriate times. Its customers tend to be older and on multiple medications. But Amazon could enter other areas of the sector by serving patients who have acute medical needs, or by adding a pharmacy to its retail stores, including Whole Foods.
The prescription drug market is worth more than $330 billion, making it a lucrative opportunity for Amazon along with its rivals including Walmart and Costco. These companies are all positioning themselves against traditional drug store chains, like CVS and Walgreens. Costco, as CNBC reported this month, is now piloting a mail delivery service with grocery delivery start-up Instacart, which offers both convenience and affordable prices to its members.
In addition to the logo change, PillPack also recently filed paperwork that adds “Amazon Pharmacy” to the licensed name of its pharmacy fulfillment centers in New York, Texas, Florida, Arizona and New Hampshire, a company spokesperson told CNBC. The company said that there won’t be any service changes for existing or new customers, and that it will retain its own brand. But customers will be notified in the coming weeks with labels and printed materials that will include references to Amazon Pharmacy.
The company also updated its help center page with references to PillPack by Amazon Pharmacy.
A slow integration
Amazon doesn’t have a template for how it treats its acquisitions. Some of its largest buys to date, like Zappos and Whole Foods, have continued to operate with their own leadership, culture and brand. Others, like the Middle Eastern e-commerce marketplace Souq, operated independently for a time before shuttering their own brand and fully integrating into the parent company.
So far, PillPack appears to be falling somewhere in the middle. It still has its own offices and retains its brand but is now altering its marketing materials to show that it’s part of Amazon. Amazon has also been promoting PillPack to its customers with a recently-launched landing page to introduce Prime members to the service. By contrast, Zappos, the shoe brand that Amazon bought in 2009, doesn’t even mention Amazon in its “About” page or terms of service.
“The change to the brand implies Amazon has greater ambition in pharmacy beyond the PillPack product,” said pharmacy expert Stephen Buck, who has worked in the industry for…