Senate approves centralizing drug and other medical purchases |

Senate approves centralizing drug and other medical purchases

Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau

The Nevada Senate voted Monday to centralize the purchase of prescription drugs and other medical supplies by state agencies, in an effort to save money.

Drug contracts are spread through dozens of agencies at the state level from the prison system to the university system to numerous agencies in the Department of Human Resources; so are specialized contracts for pharmaceutical services and a wide range of medical supplies.

SB277 requires all those agencies, including the university system, to run their purchases through the state Purchasing Division.

Sen. Sandra Tiffany, R-Henderson, said the idea is to make sure all agencies are getting the best value.

“It centralizes it and tries to ensure we get the best value,” she said.

Tiffany said the bill allows agencies to look for a better deal for a specific pharmaceutical or product.

“But if they do, they have to tell Purchasing about it so they can all get the same deal,” she said.

Drug purchases have been a problem for lawmakers and the governor’s office for years because so many agencies buy them. The result has been myriad contracts often providing the same drugs for different prices.

The purpose of SB277 is to find out where the best possible deals for each medical product are and ensure that all agencies have access to them, said Tiffany.

The bill now goes to the Assembly for consideration.