New Jersey has awarded OptumRx, the pharmacy benefit manager owned by UnitedHealth Group, a three-year contract to handle prescription drug benefits for the state's employees and school teachers, which costs about $2 billion annually. UnitedHealth will replace Express Scripts starting next January.
Why it matters: This is another multi-billion-dollar win for UnitedHealth after capturing similar deals with General Electric, the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the Employees Retirement System of Texas.
UnitedHealth, which has a significant lobbying presence, is most known for selling health insurance. But its growing Optum businesses touch almost every other health care sector (physicians, general consulting, data analytics, pharmacy) and are slowly allowing UnitedHealth to control a sizable portion of the health care system.