State of Connecticut
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Contact : Tara Downes THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2011


Comptroller Kevin Lembo proposed legislation today that would consolidate the Department of Social Services' (DSS) drug purchasing authority under the Office of the State Comptroller, saving the state as much as $66.5 million annually.

"I am calling for a consolidation of state purchasing - saving Connecticut taxpayers as much as $66.5 million annually in prescription drug costs," Lembo said. "This state streamlining would eliminate duplicative drug purchasing and provide significant savings through volume-related discounts.

"We must seize this savings immediately. Connecticut cannot afford to ignore this opportunity.

"As the state's fiscal guardian, I am deeply committed to eliminate wasteful spending, strengthen budget transparency and deliver government services more efficiently. This proposal is an important step towards financial efficiency in state government - building on our continuing efforts to leverage the state's purchasing power on behalf of municipalities and other organizations."

The Office of the Comptroller currently purchases prescription drugs for state employees and retirees through a contract with Caremark. The DSS purchases drugs separately for participants of the Connecticut Medical Assistance Programs (Medicaid, HUSKY, ConnPACE) and Charter Oak.

A recent claims analysis of these state contracts and DSS claims reveals that the state could see tremendous savings by consolidating this purchasing under the comptroller's office. The savings would primarily be achieved through volume-related discounts.

Lembo's office is in continuing discussions with all stakeholders to ensure that this proposal provides the maximum savings to taxpayers while also protecting the interests of Connecticut small businesses.

Lembo added, "I am also deeply grateful to the staff of the comptroller's office, to state Sen. Gayle Slossberg, former State Rep. James Spallone, members of the General Assembly's GAE Committee, and the staff of the Department of Social Services for their work on this important issue."

The proposed legislation would enable the comptroller's office to immediately amend its existing prescription drug purchasing contract and ultimately to authorize aggregate prescription drug purchasing for state employees, retirees, and participants of the publicly funded prescription drug programs.

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