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Max Nisen and Shira Ovide

Amazon Is Serious About the Pharmacy Business After All

Buying PillPack gives the e-commerce giant an immediate nationwide presence in the prescription-drug market — and puts another industry on notice.

The threat is real.

The threat is real.

Photographer: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

It was nice while it lasted. Inc. lulled investors in recent months into believing that maybe it wasn’t all that interested in the prescription-drug market, and would instead nibble around the edges of health care. It had let lapse some pharmacy licenses it had obtained, and in recent months talked up its interest in selling medical supplies to hospitals and other health-care providers through its existing e-commerce operation aimed at businesses. Fears of Amazon’s impending entry into the prescription-drug market started to ebb, and drugstore stocks took a breath.