Home E-Weekly February 20, 2018

What If Amazon Sold Surgical Gloves and Sutures?

Published: February 20, 2018

Amazon Logo ADD TO CART Amazon wants to give ASCs fast shipping on latex gloves, bandages and sutures.

Amazon will enter the health care system by learning how to supply latex gloves, bandages and sutures quicker and cheaper to ambulatory surgical centers, Bloomberg reports.

A pilot program in the Midwest is testing whether Amazon Business can successfully supply 150 outpatient facilities that belong to a large, single hospital system. Amazon customized its shopping interface to show the specific supply catalog for the unnamed hospital system. The interface also lets purchasers compare Amazon's prices with the prices negotiated by the hospital.

Amazon Business already sells some medical supplies to hospitals but a lack of options, changes in supply continuity and lack of control over shipping makes many administrators hesitant to solely use its service, says Bloomberg. Breaking into the ASC supply market will let Amazon learn the ropes and provide a service that could be expanded to include high-tech medical devices.

Currently, patients and smaller physician's offices use Amazon's services to purchase medical supplies. But Amazon's success with ASCs could mean stiff competition for companies that distribute basic medical and surgical supplies to ASCs and hospitals.

"They are a force to be reckoned with," said Paul Cody Phipps, chief executive officer of Owens & Minor, to Bloomberg last week.

JoEllen McBride

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