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Photo: ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon launched Amazon Pharmacy on Tuesday, which will allow U.S. customers to order prescription medications without leaving their homes.

Why it matters via Axios' Dan Primack: With the pharmaceutical business going digital, this could create a major challenge for companies like CVS and Walgreens, whose stocks stumbled this morning after Amazon's announcement.

  • Amazon's jump into the pharmaceutical business, along with its involvement in grocery shopping, could make shoppers replace their shopping needs using Amazon alone, which could potentially affect retailers who also provide pharmacy services, like Walmart and Target.

The big picture: The launch comes as Americans continue to rely on getting medications mailed amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to CNBC, this could become a permanent shift.

Worth noting: We could have seen this coming when Amazon bought mail-order pharmacy startup PillPack in 2018.

  • Amazon said PillPack will continue to serve customers after Amazon Pharmacy launches since it is designed to serve those who take multiple prescriptions for chronic conditions.

Details: Amazon said that most insurance is accepted, but Amazon Prime members can access savings on medications even without insurance.

  • Customers can add their insurance information, manage prescriptions, and choose payment options before checking out, with Prime members receiving unlimited free delivery.
  • Doctors can send prescriptions directly to Amazon Pharmacy for fulfilment.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Updated 20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. to mandate vaccines for anyone who crosses borders starting in January — Shots lagged data by months — The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort.
  2. Health: The Thanksgiving bouncers — Axios-Ipsos poll: Thanksgiving roulette — Experts criticize CDC's language on vaccine boosters — America's Thanksgiving gamble.
  3. Politics: Biden administration asks appeals court to reinstate vaccine mandate — Michigan recommends face masks for all residents amid surge.
  4. Education: A COVID strategy backfires at schools — Schools across the U.S. offer vaccine drivesBenefits of in-person school outweigh risks, study finds.
  5. World: EU drug regulator recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids — Italy announces new COVID restrictions for unvaccinated people — European health agency urges expanding booster shot access.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.