Pharmacy benefits manager OptumRx, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, is expanding its presence in Oklahoma City, adding 135 pharmaceutical jobs to the area this year.
U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said the expansion is a credit to the state's pro-business climate and talent pool, and will help diversify the local economy. Inhofe spoke Monday at a news conference to announce the expansion.
“These are good-paying jobs,” Inhofe said. “We are starting to get recognition when a service type industry has chosen Oklahoma City as an expansion area.”
OptumRx already houses more than 350 employees in Oklahoma City at the Presbyterian Health Center Research Park, where the new positions also will be added.
“The new positions we are announcing today will help us quickly adapt to the changes in a more consumer-focused health marketplace,” said Stephen Hemsley, United Health Group president and CEO.
Inhofe and Hemsley also hinted at possible further expansion in Oklahoma City.
“We try to be very conservative in our announcements, but there is more to come,” Hemsley said.
OptumRx has a good relationship with the University of Oklahoma's pharmacy program to hire recent graduates and also has a reputation within the company as a top performing center, said Ron Jordan, Oklahoma City site director for OptumRx.
The Oklahoma City OptumRx facility manages mail service orders and customer service for OptumRx and UnitedHealth Group's pharmaceutical, insurance and health and wellness programs.
The new jobs will primarily be pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and customer service representatives. OptumRx is also hiring training and quality management staff as part of the Oklahoma City expansion.
OptumRx is the third-largest pharmacy benefits manager in the United States, processing 350 million retail, mail service and specialty drug prescriptions each year.