Amazon is making an acquisition of the pharmacy tech startup Pharmacist Tech School in India, with plans to use the technology to develop health-related apps and to create a database for drug information.
The $US4.6 billion deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.
The deal comes as Amazon is gearing up for a launch of its own mobile health app called Pharmacy, which is expected in 2019.
The pharmacy tech program has a number of strengths in India.
It has a population of nearly 9 million people and is home to the largest number of drugstores in the world.
It also has the highest number of physicians, the third-largest group in India after hospitals and the government.
The program is run by the Indian Pharmacy Association (IPA) and is led by Amit Kumar, who is also a professor of pharmacy management at the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences.
“Our aim is to build the best and most competitive pharmacy tech ecosystem in the country and to leverage the strengths of India’s pharma industry,” Kumar said in a statement.
“This is a strategic opportunity for us as we seek to leverage our expertise and knowledge to bring innovation to Indian pharma to drive long-term, sustainable growth.”
The Pharmacy Technology School is located in Gurgaon, the city with the second-largest population in India and the world’s third-most populous city.
It was established in 2013 and employs about 2,000 people.
The company has also partnered with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences to develop the program.
The Pharmacist Technology School currently has 1,500 students and an annual tuition fee of $US3,700 ($4,200) is set to increase to $US5,600 ($6,100) by 2021.
The company says the acquisition will create up to 20,000 jobs across its health services portfolio.
The deal comes a week after Amazon said it would acquire a large medical software company called HealthSense for $US1.5 billion.
The $US900 million deal was announced last week and the deal is subject to regulatory approval.