As Amazon (AMZN) attempts to muscle its way into the health care market, one requirement for this octopus of a company is to obtain various licenses in states around the U.S. in order to market devices and medicines. But over the past year, a series of gaffes underscore the scrutiny Amazon faces as it looks to disrupt a crucial market that company executives have targeted as a key growth area.

The most recent instance involves PillPack, which mails prescriptions to people who take multiple medicines and which Amazon recently acquired for $1 billion. Earlier this year, PillPack sought a pharmacy license in New Mexico, but an initial attempt was denied on Nov. 2 due to incomplete information, according to an official with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy.

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  • Observer079 comment is correct, there’s nothing novel or proprietary about the PillPack “roll” of pills. Check exactCare pharmacy and others who use similar approaches.

    RE: licensure- States and pharmacy boards have the ability to create regulatory hurdles to protect their local interests. Amazon and PillPack state licensure issues/mishaps are prevalent across the business- and the local pharmacists are merely protecting their turf. Not casting aspersions upon the pharmacists- We know that respectable physicians are no different, working with the AMA to block the proliferation of telemedicine across state lines. The spread of innovation and especially the reverse innovation needed to bring down the actual cost of care, requires brave central leadership which breaks down these barriers and allows free markets. If docs and other practioners can be rewarded for providing lower cost care, then this will happen. Maybe the time is now, to build these PE supported practices which provide more efficient care to help meet the needs of the US patients who are spending a record 350B annually out of pocket, on despicably low value healthcare.

  • Speaking of “licensing,” what was PillPack doing in that sphere BEFORE Amazon acquired them? An email touting that kind of service recently went out to CVS ‘loyalty card’ holders. (When PilllPack was acquired 18 months ago, it was touted as an option already available thru CVS Express Scripts.) If you followed the link you saw something … hmmm, “substantially equivalent,” as it were. You may see for yourself here:

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