Amazon’s Loss of PillPack Founders a Staggering Setback After Huge Acquisition


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PillPack, the Boston-based startup that Amazon acquired in 2018, has lost co-founder and CEO TJ Parker along with co-founders Elliot Cohen and Kevin Gilligan, three people familiar with the matter told Forbes on Wednesday. The trio of former PillPack leaders will form their own company called NuPathe that will create software to help manage pharmacy benefits, Forbes was told by one source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Image Source- Inc.Magazine

Two Amazon executives who were instrumental in the retail behemoth’s foray into the healthcare industry are retiring.

PillPack co-founders TJ Parker and Elliot Cohen will depart Amazon at the end of this month, according to a post on Parker’s LinkedIn site. In 2018, PillPack was acquired by Amazon for around $750 million.

Following the purchase, Parker and Cohen aided in the development of Amazon Pharmacy, the business’ online pharmacy for the delivery of prescription drugs in the United States. Until recently, Parker and Cohen both had the position of vice president of pharmacy, according to Axios. Since then, they have both transitioned to consultancy positions.

To inform everyone, Elliot and I will be leaving PillPack and Amazon at the end of the month, Parker wrote. The individuals we encountered along the route and who travelled with us will be the things we remember most fondly, and we will miss you all.

In 2013, Parker and Cohen established PillPack together. Parker went to pharmacy school in Boston since his father worked as a pharmacist. At MIT’s business school, he met Cohen. 2014 saw the launch of PillPack, and Parker’s father joined as one of the first pharmacists.

Although not all of Amazon’s initiatives in the healthcare sector have been successful, it has increased its efforts recently. Amazon recently stated it will shut down its telemedicine service Amazon Care because it wasn’t a “full enough product” for customers. The pharmaceutical company has failed to gain momentum.

A joint venture that Amazon had established with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to reduce healthcare expenses was disbanded at the beginning of last year. The company was known as Haven, and its anticipated initial foray into the healthcare industry had sent provider shares down.

Nevertheless, Amazon is making large financial and material investments in the area. Amazon said in July that it will buy One Medical for $3.9 billion, adding a network of upscale primary care facilities. Additionally, Amazon has a consumer diagnostics business.

Before Parker and Cohen left, Amazon made changes to the leadership of its health division. According to CNBC, the business appointed Neil Lindsay, the former Prime head, to supervise its health initiatives in December. In January, John Love was appointed vice president of Pharmacy and PillPack. He had previously worked for Amazon as a vice president in the Alexa group.

Lindsay commended the PillPack founders for contributing to the development of the plan “to assist improve the consumer health care experience” in a note to the health services team on Monday, describing Parker and Cohen’s departure as “bittersweet.”

The PillPack company and skills “formed the cornerstone of Amazon Pharmacy, driven by their vision and consumer passion,” Lindsay said.


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