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New Mexico agencies seek combined leverage on drug pricing

August 29, 2019 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new consortium of public agencies in New Mexico has begun efforts to leverage the state’s purchasing power to reduce consumer costs for prescription drugs.

The Interagency Pharmaceuticals Purchasing Council held its first meeting Thursday that brings together representatives from nine state agencies and institutions.

Member agencies include the Human Services Department that oversees Medicaid, Corrections Department, University of New Mexico and health care insurance authorities for retired public employees and educators.

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Democratic Sen. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces sponsored legislation to create the council and helped arrange $400,000 in initial funding for staffing and financial analysis.

He says the collaborative group represents the interests of about a million consumers and will pursue multimillion-dollar opportunities for savings on pharmaceuticals.

The council is directed by General Service Department Secretary Ken Ortiz.