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A bitter pill to swallow as 80 Amazon Pharmacy employees get laid off

An Amazon Pharmacy graphic showing tablets and tubs

Amazon has been on a layoff spree over the last several months and now it has been reported by Semafor that another 80 employees - this time from its Pharmacy division - were laid off on Thursday. The news was revealed by sources familiar with the matter, rather than Amazon announcing the move itself.

Apparently, the people affected were pharmacy technicians and team leads. Registered pharmacists were largely unaffected.

While Amazon didn’t announce the move publicly, a spokesperson did admit that the layoffs have taken place. They said:

‘Like many businesses, we have been closely monitoring economic conditions and our organizational needs, and have made the decision to adjust resources. As a result, a small number of roles have been eliminated on the Amazon Pharmacy Services team.’

To date, Amazon has already laid off a massive 27,000 employees. The latest cut, which hit 9,000 employees, most affected those in its AWS, PXT, Advertising, and Twitch divisions.

The headcount reduction in the Pharmacy division is unlikely to be a bad omen for the future of Amazon Pharmacy. In January this year, it launched RxPass for Prime members that enabled unlimited prescription medications for $5 per month. Then in March it started applying manufacturer coupons at checkout to help customers save money.

The Pharmacy layoffs appear to have been announced to staff via an email from Kelvin Downes, director of fulfillment at Amazon Pharmacy. His email read:

‘Although eliminating roles is always difficult, we are making these changes now to keep investing in improving the customer experience, which will strengthen our business for the long term.’

Amazon is just one of many tech companies that are winding down some of its unprofitable ventures and focusing more on the parts of the business that make a profit. With interest rates rising around the world, it means consumers have less disposable income and investors prefer it when companies respond and double down on their profitable activities.

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