Online Pharmacy Launched By Amazon In India

United States based e-commerce giant Amazon has now ventured into the online medicine market of India with the launch of an internet pharmacy in the country.

After initially starting the service in the Southern Indian city of Bangaluru, the company may also expand the services into other cities of the country as well. This move by the e-commerce giant comes at a time when there has been a huge surge in demand for online medicines because of the novel coroanvirus pandemic in India which is still ravaging in many parts of the country.

Billions of dollars in the Indian economy has been invested by the US e-commerce giant this year.

Prescription, over-the-counter and traditional Ayurveda medication as well as basic health devices will be offered through the Amazon Pharmacy service.

“This is particularly relevant in present times as it will help customers meet their essential needs while staying safe at home,” an Amazon spokesperson told the media.

It was back in 2017 that Amazon had begun to slowly move into the pharmaceutical retailing segment. The US-based home delivery medications startup PillPack was acquired by it in the following year.

The Amazon Pharmacy branding was introduced to PillPack’s service by the company at the end of last year. A trademark application for the name Amazon Pharmacy in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada was applied for by the company in January.

That move showcased the intentions and plans of the company to make significant expansion of its prescription drugs business in markets outside of the US.

A number of US technology giants have in recent months made investments worth billions of dollars in India.

A pledge to make major investments in India was made by Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos earlier this year. The 21st Century is “going to be the Indian century”, he said while speaking at a company event in New Delhi in January.

Having already made investments of about $6.5bn in India, Amazon has set ambitious plans for expansion in the largest democracy of the world. major growth potential in the fast growing economy is envisioned by Amazon just like its rival US retailer Walmart.

With a trial in four parts of Bangaluru, Amazon ventured into India’s meal delivery business in May this year.

And a huge investment in Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries’ digital business was made by Google last month as the latest US company to make huge bets on India. In a deal worth $4.5bn, the e Alphabet-owned search engine company took control of a 7.7 per cent stake in Jio Platforms. The two companies would together develop phones for 4G and 5G networks, Reliance’s billionaire owner Mukesh Ambani has said.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai had announced in July of the company’s intention of investing up to $10bn in India over the next five to seven year and joined a host of new investors in Jio that includes Facebook, Intel and Qualcomm.

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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