In John Sculley's view, Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) having a key role in healthcare is a matter of when, not if.
"Healthcare is so big and so complex. It's not surprising that Amazon will probably take a little time to decide what they specifically want to do, but I cannot imagine they won't find some way to play a significant role in healthcare at some point, whether it happens in the next year or two or whether it takes longer," Sculley told TheStreet in a recent interview.
The former Apple CEO, who now serves as chairman and chief marketing officer of Centene Corp. (CNC) -backed pharmacy benefit manager RxAdvance, called the healthcare partnership formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) "terrific" and described Dr. Atul Gawande, who was appointed to lead the venture, as "an excellent choice."
The partnership between the three companies is important, Sculley said, "because it's going to set a new high-water mark for everybody in the healthcare industry."
The trio unveiled their healthcare initiative in January, saying they've banded together to address healthcare for their U.S. workers. In June, the companies announced they had tapped Gawande, a surgeon, public health researcher and a staff writer for The New Yorker, to be CEO of the venture. In September, Jack Stoddard, most recently general manager of digital health at Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) , joined the venture as chief operating officer.
Amazon's other moves in the healthcare realm include its deal, announced in June, to buy online pharmacy PillPack Inc.
Amazon shares were down 0.5% to $2,003.62 on Friday. Year to date, Amazon shares are up more than 70%.
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This story was originally published on Friday, Sept. 28.