Amazon cancels pharma license application in Maine, raising more questions about its healthcare plans

Dec. 8, 2017

Amazon appears to have canceled a pharmaceutical wholesaler application in the state of Maine, analysts at RBC Capital Markets, raising further questions about the tech giant’s plans to enter the pharmacy space.

The Maine Board of Pharmacy website shows an application from was canceled on Dec. 1, RBC analysts George Hill, Stephen Hagan and Lee Lueder wrote in a research note. Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The news that Amazon had acquired wholesale pharmacy licenses in multiple states, first reported in October by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, heightened already intense speculation that the company planned to compete in prescription drugs. But experts soon pointed out that the licenses didn’t enable Amazon to distribute prescription medicines; instead they supported existing medical products businesses.

But RBC’s analysts say Maine’s regulations mean Amazon’s licensing activities in the state could be a signal of its plans.

Speculation about Amazon’s entry has weighed on stocks of drug distributors, pharmacy benefits managers and retail pharmacies.

CNBC has the full article