The Iowa Department of Corrections is launching a study of its drug purchasing procedures. Department Director John Baldwin says the state’s prisons purchase nearly $10 million worth of prescription drugs every year. “In this age of really tight resources, we want to look at every opportunity we can to reduce the expense to Iowa’s taxpayers,” Baldwin said.
The study will be conducted by the Iowa Pharmacy Foundation and the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Baldwin says the Corrections Department is already in the process of developing a centralized pharmacy located in central Iowa that will serve all of the state’s nine institutions.
“We are going to move off of a private sector contract we have at four of our biggest institutions where we don’t have pharmacy services now and we’re going to centralize those,” Baldwin said. The study will also evaluate how the agency purchases drugs.
Baldwin is hoping the Iowa Pharmacy Foundation and U-I can find ways for the Corrections Department to lower is prescription drug budget through special pricing options, group purchasing and other measures. The $50,000 study is being financed with proceeds from Iowa’s portion of a settlement with two pharmaceutical companies that were accused of consumer fraud violations.