OptumRx Integration of Diplomat to Add to Growing Specialty Drug Share

In 2019, UnitedHealth Group’s Optum division revenues reached $113 billion, growing 12% year-over-year. Total operating earnings grew 14% to $9.4 billion. The most profitable part of Optum, OptumRx, saw its revenues of $74 billion grow 7%.

OptumRx has followed up on its successful year in 2019 by having its strongest 2020 selling season for core pharmacy benefit services ever. OptumRx expects its 2020 results to be enhanced by its other pharmacy care and specialty drug businesses, leveraging its recent acquisition of Diplomat Pharmacy.

OptumRx serves 56 million people, manages about $96 billion in drug spend and dispenses 1.3 billion adjusted prescriptions annually. OptumRx has been implementing a growth strategy through acquisitions recently, purchasing Avella Specialty Pharmacy and Genoa Healthcare.

OptumRx has been aggressively growing its portfolio of pharmacy care services businesses. The Diplomat acquisition will add CastiaRx to its PBM business, and strengthen its share of the oncology market.

OptumRx anticipates operational synergies form the Diplomat acquisition as it integrates that book of business into its existing PBM and specialty pharmacy operations in reimbursement and pharmacy network contracts.

OptumRx’s goal is to align pharmacy, medical and behavioral health needs of patients using data and evidence-based protocol to enable end-to-end management of care treat patients holistically. To achieve this goal, OptumRx has been expanding its ability to serve members who need high cost specialty drugs for complex diseases like oncology, immunology, including direct delivery of infusion services.


Takeaway: OptumRx’s integration of Diplomat Pharmacy will help it increase its volume of specialty drugs for complex diseases.