One could view recent developments from CVS and Amazon as a kind of battle in which only one company will win. On the other hand, Drew Madden prefers to view these developments as something that could benefit all of us, including both brands involved.
It all started when it was announced that Amazon was seeking licenses to sell pharmaceutical equipment in a number of different states throughout the country. This was critical because it meant that they appeared ready to make an entrance into a market that none of us knew they were going to be involved with before that point. It had some shook up about it. Amazon has made these kinds of moves before where they get in the face of players already in the industry. It happened when Amazon purchased Whole Foods some time ago and the stocks of other grocery outlets took a hit. This time it is a little different though because there is so much speculation about it happening before it actually does.
CVS has gone about purchasing healthcare insurance company Aetna. That will help protect them at least somewhat against whatever Amazon might throw at them. At the same time, this might provide customers with a more full-service option for their healthcare. They could literally purchase their insurance from the same place that they get their prescriptions filled.
Obviously, Amazon would make life easier on those who wanted to order prescriptions from home, or even those who needed to order uncommon medications that may not be available at a CVS location. In this way, the two companies could compliment each other to some extent as far as the customer is concerned.
This does not necessarily have to be a drag out battle between the two. Plus, there are other companies in the space as well (think Walgreens and Rite Aid). This could end up being a more interesting situation for customers while keeping all of the players perfectly alive and healthy in their business. This does not have to be a zero sum game unless the companies decide to let things play out like this.