PillPack’s Recent Public Battles
Amazon’s PillPack is fighting battles everyday, as it tries to wrest revenue, profit, and valuation from deeply entrenched players in this (mostly) zero-sum game. However, as with everything else: you win some and you lose some. Below is a recount on some of the recent moves over the summer!
In a classic win-win, Equiscript has partnered with Amazon’s PillPack business to create LilaRx. LilaRx will be the exclusive 340B contract pharmacy for home delivery of prescriptions for eligible patients. Equiscript is an administrator of contract pharmacy arrangements for covered entities in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. Equiscript will now be able to realize revenue for the actual dispensing and PillPack will see additional volume and revenue.
Battling retail pharmacies – CEO TJ Parker has noted the increased difficulty in getting prescriptions transferred since Amazon acquired the company. The company complains that pharmacies (chains and independents included) often completely ignore the request or have implemented a lengthy “consent” process that might dissuade the customer from moving the prescription over and instead convincing them to use their own competing mail-order service (CVS has recently pumped cash into its own packaging mail-order business, a competitor to PillPack).
A former executive of CVS Caremark, John Lavin, lost his non-compete case against CVS Caremark which prevents him from joining Amazon. The judge found sufficient evidence Lavin would likely cause CVS harm but the former executive promptly filed an appeal.
Surescripts terminated their contract with Amazon PillPack which provided access to prescription history data that Surescripts collects. Now, PillPack will have to get prescription history data the old-fashioned way – requesting information over the phone and fax. Although not detrimental to top-line revenue, this could cause operational headaches in terms of slowing down onboarding.