Amazon’s latest pharmacy push just wiped out $24 billion in market cap for healthcare giants

Jeff Bezos keeps shaking up the healthcare world.
Jeff Bezos keeps shaking up the healthcare world.
Image: Reuters/Andrew Kelly
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Amazon’s plan to push deeper into healthcare by acquiring PillPack, a prescription-management startup, has rattled the markets.

Shares of major US healthcare companies went into freefall today (June 28). CVS Health and Walgreens tumbled as much as 10% within the first hour of trading—wiping out more than $6 billion in market cap each. Altogether, the market value of 10 big healthcare companies fell by $23.5 billion in the first hours of trading.

Amazon put the industry on notice in January, when it announced plans to launch a low-cost, independent healthcare company for employees in partnership with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway. That announcement erased $30 billion in market value for the biggest names in a matter of hours.

Amazon stock, by comparison, was up 1.5% to about $1,685 in early trading. That should be seen as a strong endorsement from Wall Street, as the stock of an acquirer usually falls when a merger is announced.