Amazon has global aspirations for medical-supplies marketplace

Amazon.com has global aspirations for its medical-supplies marketplace, according to a job listing posted on its website, highlighting the ecommerce giant’s sweeping ambitions to disrupt health care by selling products to hospitals, doctors and dentists and offering prescription drugs.

The world’s biggest online retailer is looking to hire someone to lead outreach to medical-products manufacturers and service providers, who will focus on building the business in the US and then expanding it globally, according to a new job post.

Amazon started the Amazon Business marketplace in 2015, with health care among the industries it listed as potential customers - along with factories, offices and universities.

The new job posting emphasises that what works for most businesses isn’t working for medical-industry clients.

"Our mission is to make Amazon the preferred shopping destination for Healthcare customers," the post states.

"Our Healthcare customers have different needs than traditional Amazon Business customers and thus we are reinventing everything from how we display our selection, price our products, and provide the right customer experience. We seek to understand the specific needs of our healthcare customers, vendors, and sellers in order to deliver innovative solutions to serve their needs."

Amazon shook up the prescription-drug industry last month with its $1bn (R13.5bn) agreement to acquire online pharmacy PillPack, following a series of deals between insurance companies and drug-benefit managers that aimed to blunt Amazon’s anticipated foray into the $300bn prescription-drug business.

Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos joined Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon earlier this year to form a new venture to address rising health-care costs.

The group recently hired surgeon and health journalist Atul Gawande to steer the effort.

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