Drugstore stocks tumble as Amazon considers selling prescription drugs online

Shares of drugmakers dropped in midday trading Friday after CNBC reported Amazon is in the final stages of considering an entrance into selling drug prescriptions.

Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS Health stocks each slipped 4 percent or more as investors worried Amazon may disrupt the traditional distributors’ hold on the drug prescription market.

Amazon will decide before Thanksgiving whether to move into selling prescription drugs online, according to a source and an email from Amazon viewed by CNBC.

Amazon typically spends years researching opportunities before it telegraphs its intentions. The opportunity to sell drugs online is alluring given its market size – analysts have estimated the U.S. prescription drug market at $560 billion per year. Amazon is well aware of the complexities, say sources familiar with the company’s thinking.

Source: FactSet

— CNBC’s Christina Farr contributed to this report.

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