Online pharmacy that said it would create 200-300 jobs lays off 62 workers in Davenport | Business & Economy
Just over a year after announcing plans to expand into downtown Davenport, an online pharmacy has shed more than a quarter of its Quad-Cities workforce.
Pharmaceutical packaging and dispensing service divvyDOSE has laid off 62 employees at its Davenport location.
An Optum Rx representative confirmed earlier this week that 41 full-time and 21 part-time employees were laid off from divvyDOSE, which occupied two floors of Mississippi Plaza in downtown Davenport.
The layoffs come approximately 15 months after divvyDOSE announced it would expand it to the Davenport offices. At the time, divvyDOSE employed around 230 people in the Quad-Cities and the company planned to create “200 to 300” more jobs in the region.
A spokesman for Optum Rx said that divvyDOSE would have a “smaller footprint” at the Davenport site, while packaging and dispensing services would remain at the company’s facility on John Deere Road in Moline.
Optum Rx, which is owned by Optum, explained the move in a statement on Friday.
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“With a focus on enhancing the pharmacy experience for consumers taking multiple medications, we are more closely aligning divvyDOSE’s personalized multi-dose packaging solutions with Optum Rx’s pharmacy services,” the statement said. “As we continue to evolve our differentiated pharmacy supply model to meet the core needs of customers, members and consumers, our integrated approach and distinctive platform will allow us to offer pharmacy supply that is simple, effective and affordable for all.”
Optum Rx said it is helping the laid-off workers with job placement and will transfer some employees to other parts of the company.
Optum, Optum Rx and divvyDOSE are all owned by the UnitedHealth Group corporate umbrella. UnitedHealth, the country’s largest health insurer, acquired divvyDOSE in the fall of 2020 for an alleged $300 million.
A competitor to Amazon’s PillPack, the company helps patients, particularly those with multiple chronic conditions, organize their medications in clear, easy-to-use packages that indicate what day and time to take them. The company organizes patients’ pills into pre-sorted packs and delivers them by post at no additional cost.
The original divvyDOSE was launched in 2015 by doctor Arvind Movva. Based at a Rock Island pharmacy at the time, divvyDOSE supplied medication sorted in individual packets clearly labeled with the date and time the medication or medications were taken.
In a February 2021 press release, the Quad Cities Chamber said it had partnered with the City of Davenport and worked with the divvyDOSE site selector to secure office space in Davenport’s Mississippi Plaza.
Chamber and City of Davenport officials heralded news of divvyDOSE’s planned expansion in Davenport as a major success story that would contribute to a more vibrant downtown area.
Davenport City officials said the planned expansion is “a big step in the arm” in occupying vacant downtown office space in a building that has been vacated in recent years by major employers, including Lee Enterprises. The company, which owns the Quad-City Times, moved from its downtown offices in the Mississippi Plaza building to a location on East 53rd Street in 2019.
“We understand that every company must make decisions that are best for its business, and firing employees is never easy,” the Quad Cities Chamber said in a statement on Friday about divvyDOSE’s layoffs. “We appreciate the company’s continued presence in our region despite the reduction. The Quad Cities Chamber’s mission is to provide connections and resources for all businesses in the region. We cannot provide any additional information on this specific employer.”