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Amazon could enter the pharmacy management space soon. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Amazon getting into pharmacy services is more a "matter of when, not if," according to a new report from the investment bank Leerink Partners. Leerink previously indicated Amazon appears to be in talks with pharmacy benefit managers, the middlemen that negotiate with drug companies, insurers, employers and pharmacies.

Get smart: Leerink, basing its information on calls with people who work in the pharmacy and drug industries, expects an announcement from Amazon in the next one to two years. The news on Friday hammered pharmacy stocks like CVS Health, Walgreens and AmerisourceBergen, because those companies would immediately face competitive and cost pressures from Amazon.

What's next: Amazon could take four routes, Leerink told investors:

  • Partner with a smaller pharmacy benefit manager as a way to ship drugs and be an online face to those customers.
  • Buy a middle-market pharmacy benefit manager or specialty pharmacy and sell those services to employers or health insurers.
  • Become an online hub that works with pharmacy players to show where people can get drugs for the best prices (especially relevant as more people struggle to afford the cost of their medications).
  • Partner with Express Scripts to build up and capture a lot of people in employer plans.

Go deeper

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

3 hours ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.