Shares of Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report) were sinking in afternoon trading on Wednesday after reports suggest the e-commerce giant could be looking to move into the pharmaceutical space.

Amazon could be speaking with middle-market pharmacy benefit managers "in an effort to get into various contract arrangements," according to investment bank Leerink Partners, first reported by Axios.

A pharmacy benefit managers is a third-party administrator of prescription drug programs for commercial health plans, self-insured employer plans, Medicare Part D plans, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and state government employee plans

Leerink was said to have spoken with pharmaceutical executives who noted that Amazon would need at least 18 to 24 months to get official drug licenses in 50 states.

Amazon could seek a mail-order pharmacy that would first target uninsured consumers or those with deductibles who pay cash for a majority of their prescribed medications.

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