Jun 16, 2020 - Health

Walmart buys tech firm that helps deliver medications to home

People push shopping carts in front of a Walmart store.
Walmart is getting more into home-delivered medications. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Walmart has acquired CareZone, an app-based company that helps coordinate the delivery of people's medications. CNBC reported the deal was worth around $200 million.

Why it matters: Walmart now has the technology to mail prescription drugs to customers' homes or to arrange more pickups at its own pharmacies, which makes the retail giant more competitive in the multi-billion-dollar business of drug delivery.

Between the lines: CareZone essentially operates as an Uber for prescription medications. It acts as an agent, through an app, to get drugs for its 3.6 million users.

  • Walmart's massive footprint could grow the app as well as its lucrative pharmacy business.
  • "The world has moved to home delivery," CareZone CEO Jonathan Schwartz said.

The big picture: Pharmacy benefit managers control a lot of the mail-order business, but that is changing now, with Amazon buying PillPack in 2018 and Walmart buying CareZone.

Worth noting: Express Scripts and CareZone are still locked in a legal battle, with Express Scripts alleging CareZone doesn't have proper licensure and CareZone alleging Express Scripts is engaging in anticompetitive behavior. The case is slated to go to trial when the courts reopen.

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