Galloway: Amazon will spin off healthcare to fight antitrust

New York (CNN Business)Haven, an ambitious health care company formed just three years ago as a partnership between Amazon, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, is shutting down.

“Haven will end its operations at the end of February,” said Haven spokesperson Brooke Thurston in an email to CNN Business. The news was first reported by CNBC.
The venture was created in 2018 with the goal of helping provide better health care services and insurance at a lower cost to workers and families at these three leading American firms — and potentially to other US companies as well.

    But Haven had struggled to make inroads beyond its three partners since its inception. Haven CEO Atul Gawande stepped down last May and chief operating officer Jack Stoddard also left the firm in 2019 after just a few months’ tenure.
    A spokesman for JPMorgan Chase (JPM) also confirmed to CNN Business that Haven was shutting down. Amazon (AMZN) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) were not immediately available for comment.

    JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon wrote in an email to employees that was shared with CNN Business, “Haven worked best as an incubator of ideas, a place to pilot, test and learn — and a way to share best practices across our companies. Our learnings have been invaluable.”
    Thurston told CNN Business that “moving forward, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will…continue to collaborate informally to design programs tailored to address the specific needs of our individual employee populations and locations.”
    She added that “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.”
    Amazon is now a drug store. It will ship prescriptions to Prime members
    Going forward, the three companies are expected to continue to focus on boosting the health care offerings for their own employees, especially as the Covid-19 vaccine becomes available to a wider group of Americans.
    In his email to employees, Dimon said “we’re going to take insights we’ve gained through our joint-venture and build on them.” He added that there would be no changes to benefit programs for the bank’s workers and that Haven would work with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway to find new jobs for Haven employees.
    Meanwhile, Amazon is ramping up its own efforts in the health care business. The company already owns online pharmacy PillPack and recently launched plans to ship prescriptions to Prime members.
    Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway makes big bets on drug stocks

      Berkshire Hathaway, run by billionaire Warren Buffett, has recently been looking for bargains in the health care sector.
      Berkshire disclosed in November that it bought shares of Covid-19 vaccine developer and Big Pharma leader Pfizer (PFE) in the third quarter. Buffett’s firm also invested in AbbVie (ABBV), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Merck (MRK).
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