Medco Will Acquire United BioSource Corp. to Guide Safe and

Pharmaceutical CommercePharmaceutical Commerce - September/October 2010

Acquisition boosts Medco’s ability to develop evidence-based medicine

PBM giant Medco (Franklin Lakes, NJ) is paying $730 million to buy privately held United BioSource (Bethesda, MD), which it characterizes as “one of the world’s most respected sources of post-approval drug and device research,” and through which it will “extend Medco’s core capabilities in data analytics and research to further pharmaceutical knowledge—advancing patient safety and furthering evidence-based medicine.”

There’s no question the deal will bring together two powerhouses in evidence-based medicine. Medco has been pioneering such tools as using genomics to guide pharmaceutical usage, or analyzing step therapies on behalf of its employer-based drug plan clients. For its part, UBC has been a leader in health economics and outcomes research, generating an estimated $280 million in 2010 sales for post-approval studies, development of risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMS), epidemiological studies and other research.

However, the merged company will have to figure out an effective way to continue to represent diverse client interests. Medco offers its expertise to help drug plans manage costs; UBC does much of its work on behalf of pharma companies looking to position their drugs effectively in the marketplace. In light of this, the news release announcing the deal notes that UBC “will be run independently from Medco’s core business to ensure compliance with contractual requirements and client expectations.” PC

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