UnitedHealth said Monday it is acquiring Illinois-based group Catamaran for $12.8 billion, in a move which would boost the US giant's pharmacy services.
Catamaran helps employers and health insurers obtain prescription drugs at a lower rate from pharmaceutical groups and pharmacists, and is known as a pharmacy-benefit management company.
UnitedHealth, which will pay $61.50 per share for Catamaran, said it would merge the acquired group with its own unit that provides the same services.
Pharmacy-benefit management is becoming increasingly critical in controlling costs within the pharmaceutical market expected to expand from $100 billion in revenues in 2014 to as much as $400 billion annually by 2020.
UnitedHealth it will finance the deal using available cash and new debt, and expected it to be completed by the end of this year.