City Pharmacy Plan Still Under Review

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Councilor and Mayor-Elect Nancy McFarlane is still raising questions about the city’s prescription drug coverage months after bringing it to committee for discussion.

Read the contracts

• Raleigh’s contract with CVS Caremark

• Raleigh’s contract with Aon Consulting

The Budget and Economic Development Committee voted Tuesday to make no changes and continue the city’s contract with CVS Caremark through September 2012.

The city switched its prescription drug coverage from Blue Cross Blue Shield last year to save money. Before making the deal official, the city paid Aon Consulting $27,000 to review the contract.

McFarlane, a registered pharmacist and owner of MedPro Rx, expressed concerns about both the contract and Aon Consulting’s role.

This week McFarlane reiterated her belief that the city is overpaying for drug coverage.

City Manager Russell Allen told committee members that the nine-month financial report for CVS Caremark shows it met all of its savings projections and that the employees have responded positively to the change.

McFarlane said those figures are based on the savings projections CVS Caremark provided when it responded to the bid for a pharmaceutical vendor.

McFarlane said she has been talking to people in the industry who are interested in analyzing the contract. She said that she would like to have someone review it by the end of the year.

McFarlane said based on the findings of such a review, the city could continue with the CVS Caremark contract until it expires in September 2012 or it could release a Request for Proposal for a new vendor.

She also continues to ask questions about the Aon Consulting contract and its lack of a fiduciary duty clause. A fiduciary duty clause would ensure that the company is working in the best interests of the city. While McFarlane had no evidence to suggest that Aon did not work in the city’s best interests, she wants the clause as a matter of principle.

“My issue is that Aon, who negotiated that deal, is not fiduciary to us,” McFarlane told the Record. “So I would like to get someone who is fiduciary to us … to come in and look at that contract.”

Allen told the committee that because Aon Consulting provides services to the city that are based in analysis, and that the city is self-insured, there was no conflict and a fiduciary clause would not have mattered.

Going forward Aon Consulting will continue to work with the city, but on projects that will not be put out for bid.

City Council will discuss the issue at its next meeting on Nov. 1.

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