Amazon has big plans to revolutionize the healthcare industry.
Last year, the company drew a lot of attention when it announced plans to acquire primary care company One Medical.
In January, Amazon launched a subscription program that allows US users to get prescriptions for generic drugs for $5 a month. The fee covers all eligible prescriptions for Prime members, in a program that competes with other establishments that offer low-priced generic drugs, something that does not happen in Spain as their sale is limited to pharmacies.
Its CEO, Andy Jassy, has called Amazon a “significant disruptor” in healthcare, according to leaked audio seen by Eugene Kim and Blake Dodge of Business Insider.
But not all health projects have gone smoothly. Haven, Amazon’s joint venture with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway, closed in early 2021 after 3 years of trying to improve care and reduce healthcare costs for employees of the 3 companies. In August, it shut down Amazon Care, a big local primary care bet.
However, analysts believe that in 2023 Amazon will continue to expand its healthcare business through more acquisitions.
read on to see the rise and fall of some of Amazon’s greatest ambitions in healthcare.
January 2018: Amazon officially enters the healthcare sector through a joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, and JPMorgan
Warren Buffett, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, and then-Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos were coming together to form an independent company that would focus on healthcare for your US employees. The announcement caused a shock in the health sector.
Shares in the sector fell on the official news that Amazon had set its sights on healthcare.
June 2018: Amazon buys PillPack
In June 2018, Amazon announced that it had bought PillPack, one of the largest online pharmacies in the US, through an agreement worth 750 million dollars (700 million euros). The acquisition cleared up questions about how Amazon planned to revolutionize the healthcare industry, bringing its logistics capacity to prescription drugs.
2019: At joint venture with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway it is named and CEO
In June 2018, the company selected Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and writer, as CEO. In March 2019, the company already had an official name: Haven.
September 2019: Amazon launches a virtual health care service for its workers through a clinic called Amazon Care
At that time, the pilot program was limited to employees in the Seattle area.
May 2020: Gawande steps down as CEO of Haven
After 2 years in the role, Gawande resigned to focus more on pandemic work. But he stayed on as president of Haven.
November 2020: Amazon introduces its Amazon Pharmacy service
2 years after buying PillPack, Amazon introduced its Amazon Pharmacy service, sending healthcare stocks down again. As part of the service, Amazon offered discounts to Prime members.
December 2020: Business Insider Unveils Amazon’s ambitions to bring Amazon Care to workers at other big companies
AmazonCare spent his first year serving Amazon employees. Business Insider He announced exclusively that he planned to take the primary care service to other companies and that he had begun to offer it to some zomo Zillow.
January 2021: Haven dissolves after 3 years
Haven struggled with its lack of concrete goals, didn’t get much support from Amazon, and his only big project failedas reported Business Insider, stat and The Information.
2021: Amazon Care plans to expand, working with more companies and growing in the United States
Throughout 2021, Amazon prepared to launch Amazon Care for its employees and other companies in the United States. His first client was Precor, a fitness company owned by Peloton. In addition, Amazon tried to convince the insurers, but was unsuccessful.
That same year, the retail giant looked at other ways to expand its presence in the healthcare sectorsuch as the opening of physical pharmacies to complement its online prescription business.
July 2022: Amazon announces the purchase of One Medical, redefining its healthcare strategy
Amazon’s announced acquisition of primary care company One Medical for $3.9 billion is the third largest in its history. Industry leaders commented to Business Insider that this shows that Amazon is betting big on healthcare as a way to fuel its growth in the sector.
August 2022: Amazon shuts down Amazon Care
A month after reaching an agreement with One Medical, Amazon announced its plan to shut down Amazon Care, its own health care service. In an informative note, the company stated that the decision was made after months of reflection.
September 2022: Amazon works quietly on a consumer healthcare project called the Amazon Clinic
Following the closure of Amazon Care, Business Insider posted that the retail giant was quietly working on a project codenamed Katara, who planned to treat common conditions such as hair loss online.
2 months later, the project, called Amazon Clinic, was publicly launched.
October 2022: Amazon also wants to speed up medical research
At a conference, Amazon scientists and engineers discussed ways to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to help improve medical researchaccording to Kim, of Business Insider. Taha Kass-Hout, her medical director at the time, participated in the discussions.
January 2023: Amazon Launches $5/Month Prescription Program
In January, Amazon announced its latest healthcare initiative, RxPass. The program allows Prime members to get generic drugs for a monthly fee of 5 dollars.