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UnitedHealth’s $12.8 Billion Answer To Expensive Prescription Drugs

In a understanding that could assistance wring behind control over a mountainous cost of medication drugs, UnitedHealth Group UnitedHealth Group’s Optum Optum Rx Corp. will buy pharmacy advantage manager Catamaran Catamaran Corp. (CTRX) for $12.8 billion.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH), already a nation’s largest health word company, will turn a hulk among supposed PBMs, that are a pull between drug manufacturers and employers when it comes to purchasing pharmaceuticals. PBMs like Catamaran, a Caremark section of CVS Health (CVS) and Express Scripts Express Scripts (ESRX) are apropos some-more critical as biologic drugs take on a larger share of U.S. drug costs.

Together,  the dual fill about one billion prescriptions annually.

“The total classification will assistance business conduct a formidable costs and outcomes as this apportionment of a curative marketplace expands from an estimated $100 billion in revenues in 2014 to potentially $400 billion annually by 2020,” a two companies pronounced in a statement.

UnitedHealth will compensate $61.50 per share for Catamaran. The understanding is approaching to be accretive to UnitedHealth’s 2016 earnings.

The understanding comes during a time drug makers like Gilead Sciences Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Abbvie (ABBV) have only launched costly treatments for Hepatitis C that cost some-more than $1,000 a pill. Already, both companies have been negotiating disdainful deals with PBMs, that determine radically to yield their health devise members with coverage of one drug over a other. That brings a costs of a pills down.

A news progressing this month from Express Scripts blamed Hepatitis C pills as a pivotal reason because drug spending jumped 13% final year.

With Catamaran underneath UnitedHealth’s Optum umbrella, drug makers can design some-more disdainful deals from a PBM with larger poke and one of a nation’s longest lists of employer and supervision health devise clients. This year, Catamaran expects to fill some-more than 400 million prescriptions while OptumRx will fill 600 million.

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The total PBM of Catamaran and UnitedHealth's Optum will try to wring control of costly pills like Giead Sciences' Sovaldi

The total PBM of Catamaran and UnitedHealth’s Optum will try to wring control of costly pills like Giead Sciences’ Sovaldi


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