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PillPack is still a relatively small player in the pharmacy space, and it has a lot of obstacles to overcome to compete with established pharmacy giants, he said.

Shares of Walgreens and CVS Health Corp. dropped in pre-market trading today on news that Amazon.com Inc.is poised to acquire PillPack, an online pharmacy service that holds licenses in all 50 states.

When the company reported quarterly earnings at 7 a.m. ET, investors apparently liked what they saw, and the stock rallied as much as 1.5%.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018.

Amazon said Thursday that PillPack offers a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.

The news comes just a week after a joint venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) named a CEO who will be tasked with significantly cutting healthcare costs.

Walgreens' shares dove Thursday morning following news that Amazon is shouldering its way into the pharmacy business, a development that capped off an eventful few weeks for the Deerfield-based chain.

An aging population means we'll see an increase in health concerns and chronic conditions like heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer that can be costly to manage.

Some analysts played down the immediate threat.

A September 2016 funding round valued the Boston-based startup at around $360 million, according to venture capital data base PitchBook.

At the time, Parker argued that the company was working to protect its monopoly on home-delivered prescriptions, which Express Scripts disputed. This system is particularly convenient for people who require ongoing repeat prescriptions, as PillPack arranges the refills and renewals on behalf of the patient.

"PillPack is a wonderfully convenient service for getting prescription and non-prescription medications shipped to your door and doled out in packets with labeling that tells you when to take them", we wrote at the time.