How Amazon Went From Selling Books to Selling Medicines Online?

By Alpro Pharmacy

May 3, 2021

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Americans can now buy medicines online but how did it start? Its simple. Amazon.

In 1994, Amazon started off by selling books online. It soon expanded and started selling almost everything online. With an eye-watering market cap of $1.573 trillion, it is now the largest online company in the world.

Amazon is a rapidly growing online retail company that has ventured into many industries with the pharmacy industry being the latest one. It begun its venture into the pharmacy industry by acquiring PillPack, a digital pharmacy back in 2018.


Before we talk about Amazon, let’s take a look at PillPack.  In 2014, T.J Parker, the founder of PillPack wanted to modernize the pharmacy experience. Coming from a pharmacy background as his dad owned a pharmacy in New Hampshire, Parker knew the struggles that customers face in sorting their medications especially those with multiple prescriptions. PillPack invested heavily in PharmacyOS, a software to automate prescription renewals, billing, and notifications, all of which are essential parts in automating the pharmacy experience and ultimately providing convenience to their customers by allowing them to buy medicines online. A few years down the line, PillPack recorded huge growth with revenue nearing $300 million.

The Acquisition

Amazon saw the opportunity and realised that the pharmacy industry would offer great growth and its best tool to get into this industry was PillPack. So, in 2018 Amazon acquired PillPack for $753 million. Amazon’s emphasis on providing convenience to its customers through its retail business is carried into the pharmacy industry by creating Amazon Pharmacy. Through this, customers in United States can now conveniently buy medicines online.

How about in Malaysia?

With similar focus and emphasis on providing convenience to customers as Amazon, Alpro Pharmacy now offers this service whereby customers can now buy medicines online in Malaysia.

Why did Alpro Pharmacy decide to sell medicines online?

Alpro Pharmacy noticed the need to provide convenience as more and more customers are inclined to buying things online. With more industries moving towards digitalisation and companies such as Amazon revolutionizing the pharmacy industry, it is only right for Alpro Pharmacy to take this path of selling medicines online.

Why should you choose Alpro Pharmacy?

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Alpro Pharmacy has been operating since 2002 and now has over 135 outlets nationwide with over 200 registered pharmacists. Being the largest prescription pharmacy chain in Malaysia and the first and only pharmacy in Malaysia that has successfully obtained Product Liability Insurance for ALL its medications, Alpro Pharmacy is definitely the go-to pharmacy for customers to buy medicines online. This provides an assurance to the customers that all the medications from Alpro’s online pharmacy are guaranteed 100% genuine medication with Product Liability Insurance

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