Amazon’s Haven healthcare venture is reportedly disbanding

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The Amazon logo is seen outside its JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, U.S. November 25, 2020.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid.

Brendan McDermid / reuters

Three years after Amazon started a healthcare venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, the trio have decided to call it quits. CNBC reports that the organization, once called Haven, is disbanding, and the company will likely shut down by the end of February. 

The original purpose behind Haven was to find a way to reduce the rising costs of the employer-based healthcare system in the US. The task may have proved a little too arduous for Haven given the highly complex nature of the problem that involves multiple parties such as insurers, drug companies and medical practitioners. 

CNBC highlights one particular issue, which was that the three companies worked on their solutions separately, which might have rendered the whole joint venture moot in the first place. 

In a statement to CNBC, a Haven spokesperson said: “The Haven team made good progress exploring a wide range of healthcare solutions, as well as piloting new ways to make primary care easier to access, insurance benefits simpler to understand and easier to use, and prescription drugs more affordable.”

Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean the companies are done with healthcare. Amazon, for example, has recently launched Amazon Pharmacy, a new two-day prescription drug delivery service for Prime users. It’s based on PillPack, a company that Amazon acquired in 2018. Prime users will also be able to purchase over-the-counter goods at steep discounts. Non-Prime users can use the service too, but will be subject to either a five-day delivery window or a fee of $5.99 for expedited shipping. 

The three companies have also said that they would still collaborate informally on healthcare projects. A spokesperson said that the trio would use their collective knowledge to “design programs tailored to address the specific needs of our individual employee populations and locations.”

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