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The report on Monday by CNBC said little about whether Amazon would ultimately enter the broader retail prescription-drug market, but the idea that the online giant might not take on one segment of the supply chain was enough to send shares of pharmacies and drug distributors surging. Bloomberg has previously reported that Amazon’s health efforts have been mostly focused on selling basic medical supplies to physician offices and hospitals.
CVS rose as much as 8.7 percent, the biggest intraday gain since December 2011. Drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. was up as much as 6.8 percent. Neither company’s main business is selling directly to hospitals or doctors.
Distributor Cardinal Health Inc. was up as much as 6.4 percent, and McKesson Corp. gained up to 5.5 percent.
Shares of drug-supply-chain stocks have been in a tizzy for months over what Amazon might do to enter the pharmacy or pharmaceutical-supply business.
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