Apple & Amazon Have Entered Healthcare: How Will Medical Affairs Work with Large Employers?


Apple’s announcement that it will begin providing healthcare to its employees and families offers one more reason that Medical Affairs groups should ramp up their efforts to work with Large Employer groups.

Apple’s announcement for AC Wellness follows on the heels of the January announcement from Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan of a joint healthcare initiative. As pharmaceutical companies begin planning how to work with these business giants, Medical Affairs groups should begin to lay the groundwork for the role it will play in an emerging healthcare system.

Recent research conducted by Best Practices, LLC, shows that few Medical Affairs groups are working with Large Employer Groups at this time, and even fewer are finding their work effective. Typically, a Medical Affairs group that does work with such companies deploys their Medical Science Liaisons or Medical Information team to support a company’s Chief Medical Officer or others involved in healthcare decisions

Beyond the traditional means of engaging with such groups, Medical Affairs should examine the unique opportunity that exists to gain some true patient centricity. Could Medical Affairs teams work with these large companies to find potential patients to provide thoughts on clinical trial design? To offer insights in patient advisory boards?

Ultimately, Medical Affairs will need to examine where it can play the best role as the function receives a rare opportunity to work with a key external stakeholder group on the ground floor.

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