UnitedHealth reportedly in talks to buy pharmacy startup DivvyDose

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Healthcare giant UnitedHealth Group Inc. is in advanced talks to acquire DivvyDose, an online pharmacy startup, according to people familiar with the matter.

UnitedHealth is in discussions to pay about $300 million for Illinois-based DivvyDose, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.

No plans are final and the talks could still fall apart.

Representatives for UnitedHealth and DivvyDose didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Privately-held DivvyDose was founded by Arvind Movva, a second-generation physician, its website showed. It delivers customers their medications in individual packages with the dosage information listed on each packet.

Traditional health insurers are increasingly diversifying into other health-care service businesses, including care delivery, pharmacy benefits, and technology.

The industry faces pressure from employers and government programs to bring down medical costs and potential competitive threats from retailers like Walmart and Amazon.com Inc., both of which have expanded forays into health care. Amazon paid $753 million to buy the mail-order startup PillPack in 2018.

Prescription drugs costs drive increases in medical expenses overall, and insurers have invested in companies in various parts of the pharmacy supply chain. UnitedHealth Group owns the nation’s largest health insurer and one of the leading pharmacy benefits managers, OptumRx.

Bloomberg News