UnitedHealth to Buy Catamaran, Boost PBM Business

With a combined 1 billion scripts annually, UnitedHealth will be about the same size as current industry number 2, CVS Health Corp.

Health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc agreed to buy Catamaran Corp in a deal worth about $12.8 billion to boost its pharmacy benefit business as it competes with bigger rivals such as Express Scripts Holdings Co.

Pharmacy benefit managers administer drug benefits for employers and health plans and run large mail order pharmacies, helping them get better prices from drugmakers.

As employers look to cut prescription costs on expensive drugs, the deal with Catamaran will give UnitedHealth's pharmacy benefits unit, OptumRx, the scale to negotiate favorable prices from pharmacy companies.

Link to the Reuters news:

http://reut.rs/1xttI4e