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Amazon considering joining Japan prescription drug market: report

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Amazon.com, Inc. is reportedly considering entering the prescription drug market in Japan. 

The Nikkei newspaper, citing people involved in the project, reported that the online retail giant is planning to partner with small and medium-sized pharmacies to create a platform where patients can receive instructions on how to take medicines and have medications delivered to their homes.

The publication said that the service is projected to launch next year – allowing the pharmacies to sell to patients – when electronic prescriptions will be allowed in the country.

People would be allowed to obtain virtual prescriptions on the Amazon platform after receiving online medical care.

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The Amazon logo

This picture taken on July 4, 2022 shows the logo of Amazon, a major online shopping company, displayed at Amazon Amagasaki Fulfillent Center in Amagasaki, Hyogo prefecture.  (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Fox Business Digital's request for comment from Amazon was not immediately returned. 

Prescription drug prices are set by the Japanese government, although the distribution system is fragmented. 

Amazon box

TOKYO, JAPAN – 2022/04/06: Amazon prime sticker seen on a package. (Photo by Stanislav Kogiku/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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There are 70 wholesalers nationally, and nearly 60,000 pharmacies.

Amazon boxes

This picture taken on July 4, 2022 shows packed products at Amazon Amagasaki Fulfillent Center in Amagasaki, Hyogo prefecture.  (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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While medical care and instructions for prescriptions were allowed online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the measures were made permanent in the spring, according to Nikkei.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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