The state of Iowa is changing the way prescription drugs are purchased by and for Medicaid recipients, a move officials claim will save the state millions. Governor Tom Vilsack says joining two other states in a “purchasing pool” will save at least 11-million dollars that would have been spent buying prescription drugs for Medicaid recipients in Iowa.

Vilsack claims the small group of states will secure rebates from drug-makers that will “far exceed the amount that each state could negotiate on its own.” The so-called “Sovereign States Drug Consortium” involves Iowa, Vermont and Maine — other states may join, too, according to Vilsack.

There are several larger groups of states doing the same thing, but Vilsack says this purchasing pool if preferable because it’s run by a non-profit administrator and Iowa officials can pick and choose from a wider list of prescription drugs on which rebates are offered.

Officials say 17 percent of the state’s Medicaid budget is spent buying prescription drugs for about three-hundred-thousand low income Iowans who qualify for government-paid health care.