Just over a year after announcing plans to expand into downtown Davenport, an online pharmacy has cut more than a quarter of its Quad-Cities workforce.
Pharmaceutical packaging and distribution service divvyDOSE has laid off 62 workers at its Davenport site.
A representative for Optum Rx confirmed that 41 full-time and 21 part-time employees were laid off earlier this week from divvyDOSE, which occupied two floors of Mississippi Plaza in downtown Davenport.
The layoffs come about 15 months after divvyDOSE announced it would expand to offices in Davenport. At that time, divvyDOSE employed approximately 230 people in the Quad-Cities and the company said it planned to create “200 to 300” additional jobs in the region.
An Optum Rx spokesperson said divvyDOSE would have a “smaller footprint” at the Davenport site, while packaging and distribution services would remain at the company’s premises off John Deere Road in Moline.
Optum Rx, which operates under Optum ownership, explained the move Friday in a statement.
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“With a focus on improving the pharmacy experience for consumers taking multiple medications, we are aligning divvyDOSE’s custom multi-dose packaging solutions more closely with Optum Rx’s pharmacy services,” the statement reads. . “As we continue to evolve our differentiated pharmaceutical care model to meet the fundamental needs of clients, members and consumers, our integrated approach and distinctive platform will enable us to provide simple, effective and affordable pharmaceutical care for all.
Optum Rx said it was helping laid-off workers find jobs and would transfer some employees to other parts of the business.
Optum, Optum Rx and divvyDOSE are all owned under the UnitedHealth Group umbrella. UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest health insurer, acquired divvyDOSE in fall 2020 for $300 million.
A competitor to Amazon-owned PillPack, the company helps patients, especially those with multiple chronic conditions, manage their medications in neat, easy-to-use packages that tell when and when to take them. The company organizes patient pills into pre-sorted packages and delivers them by post at no additional cost.
The original divvyDOSE was launched by physician Arvind Movva in 2015. Then based in a Rock Island pharmacy, divvyDOSE delivered sorted medications in individual packages clearly marked with the date and time the patient was to take the medication(s). .
In a February 2021 press release, the Quad Cities Chamber said it had partnered with the City of Davenport and worked with site selector divvyDOSE to secure office space at Mississippi Plaza in Davenport.
Chamber and City of Davenport officials announced news of divvyDOSE’s planned expansion in Davenport as a major achievement that has supported a more vibrant downtown.
City of Davenport officials said the planned expansion provides “a big boost” to fill vacant downtown office space in a building that has seen major employers leave in recent years, including Lee Enterprises. The company, owner of the Quad-City Times, moved from its downtown office space in the Mississippi Plaza building to a location on East 53rd Street in 2019.
“We understand that every company must make the decisions that are best for their business, and laying off employees is never easy,” the Chamber of Quadruple Cities said in a statement Friday about the divvyDOSE layoffs. “We appreciate the company’s continued presence in our region despite the downsizing. The role of the Quad Cities Chamber is to provide connections and resources to all businesses in the region. We are unable to provide information information about this specific employer.”