Amazon.com has made an own-brand foray into the over-the-counter health products market.
Published reports said Amazon has quietly introduced a line of OTCs under the Basic Care brand, including items provided by Ireland-based store-brand and generic drug maker Perrigo plc, whose Good Sense private-label products already were sold by the e-tailing giant.
The first Basic Care products rolled out on Amazon’s online store late last summer, reports said.
The Amazon Basic Care line encompasses some 60 items, ranging from allergy medicines, pain reliever/fever reducers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, antacids and antidiarrheal medications to hair regrowth treatments and hair-loss products.
With the launch of an OTC health product brand, Amazon likely will only stoke fears that it’s eyeing an entry into the pharmacy space.
While Amazon hasn’t made its aspirations in the prescription drug market clear — and industry observers have debated the e-tailer’s pharmacy prospects — pharmacy retailers continue to keep a close watch on the company, especially after its plunge deeper into the grocery retail sector with the acquisition of Whole Foods Markets.
Reports say Amazon has obtained licenses for durable medical equipment (not prescription drugs) in a number of states, and the company several weeks ago announced that it has partnered with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to form an independent health care company to provide their employees accessible, affordable and quality care.
As a result, observers say, a move in the own-brand OTC arena could be a step toward a broader health care play by Amazon.
Citing information from One Click Retail, CNBC reported that sales of OTC health products sold directly to Amazon rose approximately 55% in 2017. Perrigo’s Good Sense was the leading brand by sales, with other top sellers including Nicorette, Align, Advil, Boiron, Mucinex, Hyland’s and Zyrtec.
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