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Fortune 500 company to bring 400 jobs to Tucson

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Will Ferguson and Will Ferguson | The Daily Wildcat Will Ferguson / Arizona Daily Wildcat Gov. Jan Brewer made an appearance for the official opening of the UA Center for Innovation at the UA Tech Park on Jan. 18, 2012. The Center for Innovation will help entrepreneurs with new business ventures.

A new customer service facility in Tucson will be linked to the UA’s College of Pharmacy and create hundreds of jobs.

OptumRx, a unit of UnitedHealth Group, plans to hire at least 400 people by the end of 2013 to staff a pharmacy services company. The announcement was made at a news conference on March 22 at the company’s office, housed in the UA’s Science and Technology Park.

Gov. Jan Brewer said she is “pleased” that the company recognizes Tucson’s high-quality workforce as well as Arizona’s “excellent” business climate.

“The hundreds of jobs Optum will create here over the coming months show that Arizona is a premier destination for the growth of innovative businesses,” she said. “I look forward to a long and successful partnership between Optum and Arizona.”

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OptumRx manages prescription drug benefits of commercial, Medicare and other governmental health plans. The company processes about 370 million drug prescriptions each year.

The Tucson center will handle customer service, mail-order prescription processing, claims administration, clinical programs, rebate processing and administration and website support. Tucson was selected because of its “diverse workforce and favorable regulatory climate,” according to the company’s representatives, as well as its proximity to the UA’s pharmacy school.

The Arizona Commerce Authority has agreed to contribute $200,000 to help the company establish its new office. In exchange, OptumRx has committed to keep 400 full-time positions in Tucson for at least five years. Jobs are expected to pay a minimum annual salary of $37,000.

“The technology at this facility, along with the commitment and know-how of our employees here, will help us fulfill our mission of making the health care system work better for everybody,” said Dirk McMahon, CEO of OptumRx. “An aging population and more people gaining access to health insurance mean more Americans will be using more prescription drugs, so the importance of our Tucson employees to our business will only increase.”

OptumRx will begin hiring sometime in the second half of the year for positions at the customer service center at the UA’s Science and Technology Park. UnitedHealth Group already employs more than 2,800 people in Arizona. The center, at 9040 S. Rita Road, is set to open in June.


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