Drug store chain Walgreens has announced on Tuesday that it’s partnering up with Microsoft, after announcing just last month its latest deal with Verily, the life sciences company under Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
The drug store chain entered a 7-year-agreement with the tech giant, with the goal of “exploring digital health opportunities within stores and developing software for managing patient engagement,” according to CNBC. Meanwhile, its deal with Verily included working on projects that will help people take their medicines.
Why the sudden partnerships between these companies, you may ask? Amazon’s booming stock seems to be the clear answer. The e-commerce giant has been looming over almost all industries for the past few years, and now it has entered the pharmacy business, as well.
While Amazon’s shares have been going up by 28%, others such as Walgreens and CVS have been going down by 5.6% and 19% respectively. One can say that they’re the strong players when it comes to pharmaceuticals, but without the expertise of technology companies, they stand little chance in the face of Amazon.
For Microsoft and Alphabet, their partnership with Walgreens can give them both valuable insights as well as the credibility to “go after other companies in the space.” As Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina recently said, “There is no market more complicated for cloud providers than health care.”