Amazon loses PillPack founders four years after acquisition

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


Two Amazon executives who played a formative role in the retail giant’s push into health care are leaving.

TJ Parker and Elliot Cohen, the co-founders of prescription drug startup PillPack, will leave Amazon at the end of this month, according to a post on Parker̵[ads1]7;s LinkedIn profile. Amazon acquired PillPack in 2018 for around $750 million.

After the acquisition, Parker and Cohen helped manage the launch of Amazon Pharmacy, the company’s online pharmacy for the delivery of prescription drugs in the United States. Both Parker and Cohen served as vice presidents of pharmaceuticals until recently, when they were moved to consulting roles, Axios reported.

“I’m writing to let you all know that Elliot and I are moving on from PillPack and Amazon at the end of the month,” Parker wrote. “Of all, it is the people we met along the way who joined us on this journey that we will remember most fondly, and we will miss you all.”

Parker and Cohen founded PillPack in 2013. Parker, whose father was a pharmacist, attended pharmacy school 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 efforts in healthcare in recent years, although not all efforts have been successful. The pharmacy business struggled to gain traction, and Amazon recently announced it would shut down its telehealth service Amazon Care after finding it was not a “complete enough offering” for customers.

Early last year, a joint venture Amazon formed with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to reduce healthcare costs. The device was called the Haven, and its initially anticipated entry into the healthcare system had sent the shares of providers tumbling.

Still, Amazon is investing significant capital and resources in the space. In July, Amazon said it would buy One Medical for $3.9 billion, bringing in a network of boutique primary care clinics. Amazon also runs a consumer diagnostics venture.

Amazon had reshuffled its healthcare management team before Parker and Cohen’s departure. Last December, CNBC reported that the company elevated its former Premier CEO Neil Lindsay to oversee its healthcare efforts. John Love, who previously served as vice president of Amazon’s Alexa division, was named vice president of Pharmacy and PillPack in January.

In a memo to the health care team on Monday, Lindsay called the departure of Parker and Cohen “bittersweet” and thanked the PillPack founders for helping develop the strategy “to help improve our customers’ health care experience.”

“Driven by their vision and customer obsession, the PillPack business and capabilities became the foundation of Amazon Pharmacy,” Lindsay wrote.

SEE: Amazon launches online pharmacy in the US

Amazon loses PillPack founders four years after acquisition

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