UnitedHealth Group, the United States' largest health insurer, has acquired DivvyDose, a start-up that helps patients with chronic illness get their medicines delivered in pre-sorted packages, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The deal price was just over $300 million, the person said. They asked not to be named discussing information that is not yet public.
A spokesperson for UnitedHealth declined to comment. Talks between the two companies were previously reported by Bloomberg.
Many of the largest retailers and health plans are snapping up start-ups in the online pharmacy space, which aim to make it easier for patients to take their medicines. Amazon acquired PillPack, a competitor to DivvyDose in 2018, and Walmart recently scooped up medication management technology from CareZone.
One reason for the buy-ups is to tap into the base of customers that use these services, many of whom are juggling multiple medications. For retailers, like Amazon and Walmart, it's a way to broaden their footprint in the $300 billion pharmacy market. Health plans like UnitedHealth could benefit by providing additional benefits to a segment of users that rely on getting their medicines delivered in neat, easy-to-use packets.
"I can only speculate that these pharmacies have very strong patient loyalty," said Vinod Melvani, a pharmaceutical executive and consultant.
DivvyDose gives ways for patients to sign up online and by phone, then sorts their medicines into packets with clearly-labeled dates and times, and sends them to patients along with a full medication list. The says that it doesn't charge any additional money outside of the patients' co-pay, and that it accepts all the major insurance plans.
DivvyDose, which is based in Illinois and got its start on 2015, hasn't raised any institutional investment from venture capital funds or private equity, according to Crunchbase. Its CEO, Arvind Movva, is a doctor and serial entrepreneur, who describes his goal on LinkedIn as helping "improve health care outcomes and value."