Amazon loses the founders of PillPack four years after the acquisition

With Amazon Pharmacy, Prime customers in the US can have their prescription drugs shipped to their home for free.

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Two Amazon executives who played a formative role in the retail giant’s push toward healthcare are leaving.

TJ Parker and Elliot Cohen, co-founders of prescription drug startup PillPack, will leave Amazon at the end of this month, according to a post on Parker’s LinkedIn profile. Amazon bought PillPack in 2018 for $750 million.

After the acquisition, Parker and Cohen helped direct the launch of Amazon Pharmacy, the company’s online pharmacy to provide prescription drugs in the United States. Both Parker and Cohen served as vice presidents of pharmacy until recently, when they were transferred to advisory positions, Axios reported. .

“I am writing to let you all know that Elliott and I are moving out of PillPack and Amazon at the end of the month,” Parker wrote. “Among everything, the people we met along the way and who joined us on this journey are the ones we will remember most and will miss you all.”

Parker and Cohen co-founded PillPack in 2013. Parker, whose father was a pharmacist, attended the School of Pharmacy in Boston. He met Cohen, who was in business school at MIT. PillPack began serving customers in 2014, and Parker’s father joined as one of the company’s first pharmacists.

Amazon has accelerated its push into healthcare in recent years, although not all of its efforts have been successful. The pharmacy company has struggled to gain traction, and Amazon recently announced that it was shutting down telehealth service Amazon Care after finding it wasn’t a “full enough offering” to customers.

Early last year, Amazon’s joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to cut health care costs was dissolved. The entity was called Haven, and its anticipated initial entry into the healthcare market sent the providers’ shares tumbling.

However, Amazon is investing significant capital and resources in the space. In July, Amazon said it would acquire One Medical for $3.9 billion, creating a network of primary care clinics. Amazon also runs the Consumer Diagnostics Project.

Amazon adjusted its health leadership ahead of Parker and Cohen’s departure. Last December, CNBC reported that the company had brought in former Prime Minister Neil Lindsey to oversee its health efforts. Jon Love, who previously served as vice president of Alexa at Amazon, was named vice president of pharmacy and PillPack in January.

In a note to the Health Services team on Monday, Lindsey called Parker and Cohen’s departure “bittersweet” and thanked the PillPack founders for helping develop the strategy “to help improve the healthcare experience for customers.”

“Driven by their insight and customer obsession, PillPack’s business and capabilities became the foundation of Amazon’s pharmacy,” Lindsay wrote.

Watch: Amazon launches online pharmacy in the US

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