Amazon is reportedly considering making a $100 million investment in India-based Apollo Pharmacy, people familiar with the matter told Economic Times. Should the deal go through, Amazon would gain access to a major retail chain with 3,700 pharmacy locations. Both Amazon and Apollo Pharmacy parent company Apollo Hospitals declined to comment on the potential deal.
The deal would help Amazon compete against India’s major pharmaceutical players, including Reliance Industries and Tata Group, according to Reuters. Amazon already delivers medicines ordered on its site in India, but the space is getting crowded: Reliance has entered the market through a majority stake in online pharmacy Netmeds, while Tata is reportedly looking into taking its own majority stake in online pharmacy 1mg.
Amazon’s expansion in India would be a natural outgrowth of its pharmaceutical investments in the U.S., including the launch of the Amazon Pharmacy prescription delivery service and the acquisition of PillPack in 2018. Healthcare has been an area of growing interest for U.S. retailers in recent years, exemplified by moves such as CVS Health acquiring Aetna and Walgreens opening clinics in partnership with VillageMD.