An Indiana company will continue to provide prescription drugs to state prisons in the commonwealth.
The state Department of Corrections said Wednesday that it had entered into a new contract arrangement through the Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy to continue to purchase drugs through Diamond Pharmacy Services.
A spokeswoman for the DOC said that move will save the state an estimated $1 million a year, out of a budget of roughly $48 million a year for prescription drugs for its inmate population.
Under the DOC contract with Diamond, effective Feb. 1, the Pennsylvania agency is paying a reduced price for each prescription dispensing fee, that is, the charge incurred for each prescription filled.
In addition, the department said it will not have to pay costs associated with transmitting prescription data from the pharmacy to an electronic health record.
Diamond Pharmacy Services is part of Diamond Drugs Inc., headquartered in Commerce Park in White Township. Diamond Drugs is Indiana County’s third-largest employer with approximately 1,100 employees, including nearly 100 pharmacists.
Over more than 30 years in the business, Diamond has become the nation’s largest correctional pharmacy services provider, serving more than 640,000 inmates or nearly one-third of all incarcerated in America.
According to its website it has contracts in 44 states, including 1,500 correctional facilities, 120 juvenile detention centers and departments of corrections in nine states.
It is part of a tradition dating back nearly half a century to provide medical supply services to facilities of all sorts throughout the country, including schools and long-term care facilities as well as correctional facilities.
Diamond said its medical supply division can offer more than 10,000 products as well as the ability to handle special orders.
DOC also said Diamond is contracted to provide access to generic drugs whenever possible and offer same-day delivery to all prisons to ensure swift commencement of therapies prescribed.
“This agreement is a win-win for the DOC,” said Christopher Oppman, the DOC’s deputy secretary for administration. “It will provide more efficient pharmaceutical distribution services to our facilities, while also achieving cost-savings for the commonwealth.”
The Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy, created in 1985, is a free voluntary group purchasing organization operated and managed by Minnesota’s Department of Administration for govern- ment health care institutions.
Its members include thousands of participating facilities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
DOC said its stated mission is to provide, through volume contracting and careful contract management, the best value in pharmaceuticals and related products to its members in eligible governmental health care facilities.