Amazon made big news last month after announcing it would seek ways to address soaring health care costs for its own employees. But the online shopping titan is already focusing its industry-disrupting power on the broader health care sector.
The retailer has rolled out a line of private-label over-the-counter medicines and is building a business selling a wide array of medical supplies to doctors, dentists and hospitals.
Amazon (AMZN) says the efforts are part of its strategy to enhance the shopping experience for businesses and consumers. But its forays into the health care field are being closely watched, especially after it announced last month that it is working with Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) to better control costs and reduce spending on the health insurance they offer for the 840,000 people who work for them.
Some industry watchers also speculate that the firm may try its hand at selling prescription drugs in the near future, though they warn this would be a big lift since the drug industry is so highly regulated.