Statement of Matthew Cantor, Attorney for Irmat Pharmacy

On November 12, 2015, Irmat Pharmacy, located in New York City, asked a New York court to halt what it views as an illegal and anticompetitive termination of its enrollment as a participating pharmacy in the OptumRx provider network. Irmat's attorney, Matthew Cantor of Constantine Cannon, issued the following statement:

"OptumRx's actions are nothing more than a cover for what we believe is an illegal and anticompetitive termination of Irmat's contract. We believe that Optum, a pharmacy benefit manager that also owns a mail-order pharmacy that competes with Irmat, is taking these actions merely to force its members to use only its pharmacy for mail-order sales. It should be abundantly clear that there is a huge conflict of interest inherent in this structure.

"Irmat's mail-order sales have grown considerably in the last couple of years. Indeed, Optum has known that, during this time, Irmat has made substantial sales to its members residing outside of the State of New York. Simply put, we believe that, once Optum saw that Irmat had become a popular alternative for its members, Optum decided to put an end to its competition with Irmat.

"Irmat has grown over the years because it is a highly respected, independent pharmacy that offers an efficient and low-cost way to get important dermatological drugs. Irmat provides patients with greater access to needed dermatological drugs, particularly low-income patients who simply cannot afford burdensome insurance company copayments.

"Irmat has made every effort to resolve this situation, including by agreeing to Optum's invitation that it apply to its 'mail-order' network. But Optum has no interest in resolving the matter. Rather than provide Irmat with the few months that it needs to complete its mail-order network application, Optum has sought to terminate Irmat's contract immediately in order to put Irmat out of business.

"We still look forward to resolving this matter with Optum, and an obvious solution exists — so that Irmat can continue to provide a valued alternative to our many customers and to Optum's many members."

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