Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
UnitedHealth Group's OptumRx division is buying Diplomat Pharmacy for $300 million, roughly a month after Diplomat said it was running out of money and was exploring a sale.
Why it matters: Health insurance companies have tightened their oligopoly hold on specialty pharmacies.
- UnitedHealth and the other big insurers, which own these pharmacies that sell high-cost drugs for complex diseases, helped create Diplomat's financial problems by routing prescriptions to themselves over Diplomat.
- Now, Diplomat is selling itself to the giant that squeezed it, at a discount, and specialty pharmacy competition goes down. Diplomat's pharmacy benefit manager also gets absorbed by UnitedHealth.