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Drug stocks drop after report that Amazon has obtained pharmacy licenses

The stocks of companies in the pharmaceutical supply chain dropped in Thursday afternoon trade after a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that online retailer Amazon AMZN, +0.43% has obtained approval to become a wholesale distributor in a number of states. Amazon has received approval in at least 12 states, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Speculation about an Amazon pharmacy entry has swirled since a CNBC report on the subject earlier this year, but Amazon has repeatedly declined to comment on or confirm any interest in pharmacy. Such a move would likely threaten a number of industry players, including drug wholesalers, pharmacy chains and pharmacy-benefit managers, middlemen that negotiate drug prices. Rite Aid Corp. RAD, -6.99% shares dropped 5.6% in Thursday afternoon trade, CVS Health Corp. CVS, -4.08% shares dropped 4.8%, Express Scripts Holding Company ESRX, -3.29% shares dropped 3.5%, McKesson Corp. MCK, -3.55% shares dropped 3.4%, AmerisourceBergen Corp. ABC, -4.58% shares dropped 4.4%, Walgreens Boots Alliance shares dropped 3.7% WBA, -4.12% and Cardinal Health Inc. CAH, -2.46% shares dropped 2.5%, compared with a 0.2% rise in the S&P 500 SPX, +0.19% Many of the stocks have plunged in the last several months on concerns about Amazon.