The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon (AMZN), fired a warning shot over the bow of brick & mortar pharmacies across America with the recent announcement that they will soon be delivering prescription drugs right to people’s door.
America’s three biggest pharmacy chains, Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid all suffered a significant loss in stock value immediately after Amazon’s announcement. As of now, Amazon plans to offer the service for its massive base of “Prime” customers, but the smart money is on Amazon expanding its service to include a much wider domestic market over time.
Why is that important for Montanans?
Montana is the 4th largest state in the United States, as measured in square miles, and they rank #43 in population. What that means is that many Montanan’s live in rural, or even remote, areas outside the seven major population centers within the Treasure State.
As one would imagine, the winters in Montana can be long and brutal. It’s not unusual to get several feet of snow over the course of a few days in towns at higher elevations. The roads become dangerous, and even deadly, for those with diminished reflexes and stamina, like our many senior citizens. Couple that with the fact that Montana ranks #1 in DUI deaths and a case could be made that to some seniors, Amazon’s new prescription delivery service could be a life-saver.
As of now, Amazon plans to sell a limited range of items, like creams and medications, but they will also deliver insulin in what would have to be refrigerated boxes or some other method to maintain the proper storage temperature.
Whether you like Amazon or not, there is no doubt that they are here to stay. Perhaps local pharmacies, sensing their potential demise, will step-up and begin to offer delivery service? The world’s largest brick and mortar retailer, Walmart, adopted that same practice around the Christmas holiday last year.
In a perfect world, the population would force the government to release all of the “secret cures” that they are reported to be hiding, and end the need for medications completely. Until that happens, just continue to eat right, exercise, and think long and hard about getting a Prime membership.