Amazon dominates pharma dinner talk, but no new morsels from host, JPMorgan CEO

Alia Paavola - Print  | 

At a private dinner hosted by JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon with pharma executives this week before the bank's San Francisco healthcare conference, Amazon was a hot topic of conversation, but Mr. Dimon revealed little about the goals he had for the healthcare partnership he formed with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway — beyond lowering drug prices.

"We are not happy with healthcare costs and want to help," he told the group, according to two people quoted by CNBC.

While attendees pressed Mr. Dimon for answers about what Amazon plans to do in healthcare, Mr. Dimon declined to speculate about Amazon's healthcare moves outside of their partnership.    

About 25 leaders attended the dinner, including executives from Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Amazon was absent.

"I know last year a lot of your stocks went down after some of my comments," Mr. Dimon told the attendees, referencing the partnership with Amazon.

The JPMorgan-Amazon-Berkshire healthcare venture will first focus on improving care quality while lowering costs for its combined 1.2 million employees. The company has hired about a half-dozen leaders from across the health industry, but it still remains secretive about its strategy.

On Jan. 8, Eli Lilly CEO Dave Ricks acknowledged the private dinner at a panel at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference and called for other CEOs to take a more active role in managing health benefits for its employees, according to the report.

Read the full report here.

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