The patent for Amazon Pharmacy was trademarked on January 9, 2020, the information on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office website reads, with the status pending as pre-formalized. The same trademark also appears in the January 9 filings for IP Australia and the UK’s intellectual property office, marking a potential move into selling prescription drugs worldwide.
The online trading giant acquired PillPack, a start-up that specializes in delivering medications to the home, back in 2017. PillPack focused on its home US market, where it was headquartered, as well as the Japanese one where it was supported by local partners.
At the end of 2019, PillPack notified its customers that it would be including references to the “Amazon Pharmacy” brand in its printed materials and on its labels – suggesting that PillPack might look to go broader than its current remit. The company does not yet cater to customers that have acute needs for medications, focusing instead on those with chronic ailments who take multiple medications on a recurrent basis.
Amazon still has to deal with litigations from competitors in the local market before moving globally. CVS and Walgreens had accused Amazon of not getting proper consent from patients to transfer their prescriptions, defending their own existing pharmacy services. Prior to the buy-up, PillPack battled with some of the largest pharmacy benefits managers, including Cigna-owned Express Scripts, which almost resulted in PillPack losing access to a huge chunk of its customers that have insurance.