I think it will be interesting to see how Amazon "negotiates" with the pharma industry. Will Amazon be able to offer prescriptions at lower prices than their competitors, and, if so, how? Imagine if Amazon got into the health insurance domain( Prime member health insurance).:ohmy:
Can they beat costco?
I am not sure there is a problem here.
If Amazon gets into the dispensing of medications its prices will either be better than competitors or they will not. Should they be better, then anyone who fills a prescription at Amazon will be better off and other drugs stores will need to reduce margins to compete so all users of prescription medications would be better off.
In the same way if Amazon became a provider of medical insurance it would either be better than the competition or it would not. If is it, consumers will win and its competitors will be forced to adjust.
Of course not everybody sees it this way. The ranking member of House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform is deeply disturbed by the prospect of consumers benefiting is this way. He notes that the market cap of Amazon's competitors have been adversely affected and that the revolution in distribution that Amazon pioneered has resulted in the loss of jobs and lower wages for many in the traditional retail sector.
This is indeed a valid concern. The failure to regulate the growth of the auto industry and the production of PCs had very severe consequences leading to the disappearance of the covered-wagon production industry in one case and the the job security of typewriter repair techs in the other. Further examples are the development of farm machine equipment that displaced countless workers from jobs that for centuries had been a stable source of employment and income.
The Ranking Member's thoughtful letter is a timely reminder of the critical role of representative government in society. Without it, there would be no way for small groups of economic agents to extort economic rents from consumers. Noting the effectiveness of this function, perhaps it is time to consider changes in the electoral system so that consumers would also have representation in the halls of government.
Yeah--if Amazon somehow figured out a way to deliver low cost internet service to rural America, these elected officials would be complaining about how Amazon is causing local Mom&Pop businesses to suffer because rural people are now buying things over the internet, things which they would have had to buy locally. What ever happened to the Wal Mart hate contingent? Seems Amazon now gets the lion's share of hate.