Amazon pharmaceutical industry entry launches online sales of prescription drugs in the United States: Amazon has just launched Amazon Pharmacy, its online and telephone prescription drug ordering and delivery service in the United States, according to Tech Crunch.

The step-the most important that Jeff Bezos ' company has taken in the pharmaceutical industry-comes more than two years after its adquisición 753 million acquisition of drug delivery service with, Pillpack.

Amazon has been showing interest in the sector for years and an old CB Insights Report already revealed that the company had patents related to blood flow and heart rate control, and could expand to a fall detector.

Another Business Insider Intelligence report noted that Amazon's strategy builds on its experience as a medical supply distribution platform and develops its AI assistant Alexa as Home Health Access.

However, the online commerce giant has always had its eyes on the drug distribution business. In 1999 and 2000 he began to invest money in to expand its business into the pharmaceutical field, as the CB Insights report explains. However, he soon encountered a wide " network of intermediaries and regulators who stopped his ambition."

Now, the coronavirus pandemic could have accelerated the giant's entry into this business. "As more and more people look to complete daily errands from home, the pharmacy is an important and necessary addition to Amazon's online store," said Doug Herrington, Senior Vice President of consumers North America at Amazon, in a statement.

"PillPack has provided exceptional pharmacy service for people with chronic health conditions for over six years. Now, we are expanding our pharmacy offering to, which will help more customers save time, save money, simplify their lives and feel healthier," he concluded.

Amazon pharmaceutical industry entry launches online sales

The interest of online marketplaces (with Amazon in the lead) in the pharmaceutical industry is not new, but the pandemic could accelerate a trend that the sector has traditionally resisted.

"The online world has grown during the pandemic, it has multiplied by three," said Juan Carlos Santé, CEO of Pharmex, at the Smart Business Meeting organized by Business Insider Spain to delve into the challenges and opportunities of the pharmaceutical industry.

"And that's where we're going to have to go," he said.

However, the CEO sees the online sale of medicines far away, since "at the legislative level the European environment is quite strict and you can not carry out these practices".

Santé has assured that, for example, the online market for food supplements has grown to "an impressive level".

In short, the CEO of Pharmex believes that online sales "are growing in such a way that it will affect current stakeholders and we have not yet finished defining what we will want to do".

"It is clear that we are in a country where we have 22,000 pharmacies that look suspiciously at the online, but the online has sold to stay and after this pandemic much more," warned the CEO.

"We have to look at it very carefully and start thinking about how we are going to adapt. The world of Pharmacy will have to decide what to do and in a consensual way, " he concluded.

In this sense, Enrique Ordieres, CEO of Cinfa, has warned that in Spain you can access a drug in a matter of hours thanks to the pharmacy network, so you have to be cautious with online sale.

"Medicine is a right and a right in a system that in our country works very efficiently," he said.

Amazon pharmaceutical industry entry launches online sales

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So you can transform an airline into a passenger plane to transport the coronavirus vaccine

The latest news about coronavirus vaccines has triggered optimism from markets and companies, who are beginning to glimpse a way out of this crisis. It has also been the case for airlines, which have taken off on the stock market in the face of the possibility that Sky Travel will be reactivated soon.

But the injections also present an opportunity for airlines at the logistics level: the airline that starts transporting the doses will be seen as a heroin and could also increase its revenue.

"Safely distributing COVID-19 vaccines is going to be the mission of the century for the International Air Cargo industry," predicted the director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac, in a statement.

Could it also be the case for passenger airlines, whose accounts are so affected by Tourism and business stoppage?

And, in that case, How can a passenger plane be transformed into a cargo ship that can also carry vaccines at very low temperatures?

To answer these questions, Business Insider Spain has consulted with the Aeronautical Mechanical Engineer Enrique Alejandro Saavedra, also a professor at the School of pilots Centre d'estudis Superiors de l'aviació (CESDA) of Reus, Tarragona, and at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili.

The expert warns that there are very few companies that carry out these transformations, as they are very expensive. It is usually done with "retired" passenger planes, that is, already unusable for their original purpose, to which airlines seek to give a second life when their cabins are already too old. In order for the aircraft to be able to carry cargo, they are made a structural reinforcement that makes them support more weight.

However, there is a way to transport vaccines without having to make such structural modifications, since it is a small and heavy load: the passenger seats, well secured. Or even removing them, something more expensive than not doing it, but not as much as carrying out structure reinforcements: it is something that some airlines already did during the confinement to transport sanitary material.

"We designed the aircraft so that they can carry about 100 kilos per passenger, that is, between 80 and 85 kilos per passenger and about 20 per hand luggage, and we establish that they occupy a certain volume in a seat," explains Saavedra. "So you could do a quick conversion," he suggests.

In addition, airlines should regulate the cabin temperature, but not up to the -70 degrees required by the Pfizer vaccine, since that temperature would be necessary in the compartments carrying the vaccines, not throughout the plane. Within this, the professor indicates that up to 8 degrees it would be simple to regulate it without changes in the aircraft's ventilation systems.

"For all this, passenger airlines could request some kind of permission so that, with some thermal preparation, they allow them to transport vaccines," says Enrique Saavedra. "And without doing what in the sector we call 'major surgery' to aircraft", that is, without large structural changes or legal, because to carry them out, he insists "it is not something fast, they require legal certifications that do involve large modifications that take many months".

This is not only a new revenue path for commercial airlines, but also a distribution problem. Most of the world's cargo travels in the holds of passenger aircraft, under the Travelers... - not with cargo airlines— and now one in four are not traveling through travel stoppage.

On the other hand, there is no other sector that can distribute the billions of doses that will be needed worldwide once the vaccine becomes available. Paradoxically, one of the industries most affected by the crisis is what governments will need to stop the spread of the disease.

Unicef has also assured that this will be the largest and fastest distribution of vaccines in human history. Transporting a single dose to the 7,000 million inhabitants of the planet would require the work of 8,000 747 aircraft, and even in the event that half were distributed over land, it would already be the biggest challenge that aviation has never faced.

The conclusion of Saavedra, and other industry experts, is that airlines are going to need help from governments on many different fronts. And they will have to do it before the vaccines are ready.

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