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Sweetheart Deal For Pharmacy Supplying Saratoga County Jail

OBriens Pharmacy in Ballston Springs has a pretty good deal in supplying the Saratoga County Jail in New York with prescription drugs for prisoners. The county, which paid OBriens $247,000 in FY 2004, has been paying the average wholesale price plus a $2.60-per-prescription filing fee in accordance with a 1992 policy. By contrast, the countys nursing home and nearby Warren County Jail put their prescription drug purchasing out on bids. Warren County pays 8% below average wholesale and has no filing fee.

How did OBriens get such a sweetheart deal? It could be because OBriens contributes to Saratoga County Sheriff James D. Bowens re-election campaign. In 2005, the amount contribute by OBriens was $1,100.

Jack Murray, Saratoga County auditor, said his staff checks the bills submitted by OBrien, stating that they rarely find an overcharge and sometimes find undercharges. However, they are checking against a policy that may allow overcharging in general.

Bowen said OBriens is used because it is close to the jail and able to make quick deliveries. However, he said he would look into the possibility of putting the prescription drug purchases out on bid.

If there is a way to save money, Ill have to talk with Larry [Cleveland, Sheriff of Warren County], said Bowen.

County Administrator David Wickerman also said he would look into the possibility of bidding on the prescription drugs.

Source: The Saratogian.

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