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Amazon has been trying to break into healthcare for years. Here’s a look at everything it’s done.


Amazon CEO Andy Jassy next to Amazon pharmacy bottles in front of a teal and orange background with white pillsAmazon CEO Andy Jassy.

Amazon; Reuters; Marianne Ayala/Insider

  • Amazon has been pushing deeper into healthcare over the past few years. 
  • It’s focused on providing primary care and dispensing prescriptions through Amazon Pharmacy.
  • It hasn’t been smooth sailing, and the tech giant has shut down some projects. Here’s a timeline.

Amazon has big plans to disrupt healthcare.

Last year, the retail and tech giant made waves when it announced plans to acquire the primary-care company One Medical.

In January, Amazon released a subscription program allowing users to get generic prescriptions for $5 a month. The fee covers all eligible prescriptions for Prime members, in a program that rivals other retailers offering low-price generic medications.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has called Amazon a “significant disruptor” of the medical-care field, according to leaked audio obtained by Insider’s Eugene Kim and Blake Dodge.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for every healthcare project. Haven, Amazon’s joint venture with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway, shut down in early 2021 after three years of trying to improve care and lower healthcare costs for the three companies’ employees. In August, it shut down Amazon Care, a big homegrown primary-care bet.

Analysts think in 2023 Amazon will continue to build on its healthcare business through more acquisitions. 

Read on to see the rise and fall of some of Amazon’s biggest healthcare ambitions. 

January 2018: Amazon officially gets into healthcare through a joint venture with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan.jpmorgan amazon berkshire hathaway health venture 4x3

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters; Yuri Gripas/Reuters; Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The announcement that Buffett, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, and then-Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos were teaming up to form an independent venture that would focus on healthcare for their US employees sent shockwaves through the healthcare industry.

Healthcare stocks tumbled on the official news that Amazon had its eye on healthcare.

June 2018: Amazon buys the digital pharmacy PillPack.Pills Pill Pack

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

In June 2018, Amazon said it bought the online pharmacy PillPack, a deal worth $750 million. The acquisition clarified how Amazon planned to disrupt the healthcare industry, by bringing its massive delivery capabilities to prescription drugs.

2019: The joint venture with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway gets a name and a CEO.Dr. Atul GawandeDr. Atul Gawande.

Getty Images

In June 2018, the joint venture selected Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and writer, to serve as its CEO. By March 2019, the venture had an official name: Haven.

September 2019: Amazon gets its start in providing virtual medical care to its workers through a clinic called Amazon Care.Amazon Care can do home visits and virtual primary care.Amazon Care includes home visits and virtual primary care.

Amazon

At the time, the pilot was limited to employees in the Seattle area.

May 2020: Gawande steps down as Haven’s CEO.Atul GawandeHaven CEO Atul Gawande.

Courtesy Haven

After two years on the job, Gawande stepped down to focus more on pandemic work. He stayed on as Haven’s chair.

November 2020: Amazon unveils its Amazon Pharmacy service.Amazon PharmacyCustomers can purchase prescription medications through Amazon Pharmacy.

Amazon

Two years after buying PillPack, Amazon unveiled its Amazon Pharmacy service — again sending healthcare stocks tumbling. As part of the service, Amazon offered discounts to Prime members and free delivery.

December 2020: Insider uncovers Amazon’s ambitions to bring Amazon Care to workers at other major companies.amazon care 4x3

Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters; Amazon; Skye Gould/Business Insider; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Amazon Care spent its first year providing care for Amazon employees. Insider’s Dodge reported that it planned to bring the primary-care service to other companies and that Amazon had started pitching the service to companies such as Zillow.

January 2021: Haven disbands after three years.warren buffet

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Haven struggled with a lack of focus, it didn’t get much support from Amazon, and its one big project failed, Insider, Stat, and The Information reported.

2021: Amazon Care plots its expansion, working with more companies and growing nationally.Amazon Care's app.Amazon Care’s app.

Amazon Care

Throughout 2021, Amazon geared up to launch Amazon Care for its employees and other companies across the US. Its first client was Precor, a fitness company owned by Peloton. Amazon tried to win over insurers but struggled to get them on board.

Amazon considered other ways to grow its healthcare footprint that year, including setting up physical pharmacies to complement its online prescription business.

July 2022: Amazon says it will buy One Medical, redefining its healthcare strategy.One Medical IPO opening bellOne Medical rings the bell at Nasdaq the day of its initial public offering.

Nasdaq

Amazon’s announced acquisition of the primary-care company One Medical for $3.9 billion is its third-biggest acquisition ever. Industry leaders told Insider it showed that Amazon was betting big on care delivery as a way to supercharge its growth into healthcare.

August 2022: Amazon shuts down Amazon Care.Amazon Care graphic 4x3

Amazon Care; Rachel Mendelson/Insider

One month after striking a deal for One Medical, Amazon announced its plan to shut down Amazon Care, its homegrown care service. In a memo, Amazon said the decision came after months of consideration.

Employees told Insider’s Dodge that Amazon got in its own way when trying to take on the healthcare industry, which led to the fall of Amazon Care.

September 2022: Amazon is quietly working on a consumer healthcare project called Amazon Clinic.Amazon ClinicAmazon Clinic.

Amazon

In the wake of Amazon Care’s shutdown, Insider reported the tech giant was quietly working on a project code-named Katara that planned to treat common conditions like hair loss online. 

Two months later, Amazon publicly launched the project, called Amazon Clinic.

October 2022: Amazon also has ambitions to accelerate medical research.Amazon seattle headquartersAmazon’s Seattle headquarters.

David Ryder/Getty Images

At an internal conference, Amazon scientists and engineers discussed ways to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to help improve medical research, Insider’s Kim reported. Taha Kass-Hout, its chief medical officer at the time, was involved in the discussions.

January 2023: Amazon launches a prescription program for $5 a month.A woman stands over a box from Amazon RxPass through Amazon Pharmacy with a prescription bottle in her hand.

Amazon

In January, Amazon announced its latest healthcare venture, RxPass. The program allows Prime members to get many common generic medicines for just $5 a month.

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