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Go deeper: Amazon's buyout of PillPack is just a start

PillPack boxes and medication.
Amazon is buying PillPack for $1 billion. Photo: PillPack

Amazon's $1 billion acquisition of mail-order pharmacy startup PillPack created an industry-wide frenzy, as prognosticators forecast doom for traditional pharmacies like Walgreens and Rite Aid. But Amazon still has a long way to go if it wants to drastically change the drug supply chain.

The big picture: Amazon is buying a small player in a highly regulated industry dominated by powerful incumbent companies that aren't willing to give up their turf. The online retailing giant will have to build or acquire more parts to make a big difference.