The Lone Star State is now the 46th state member of the Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy (MMCAP), which is based in St. Paul, Minn. The Texas state government recently completed a 12-month transition period and has signed a contract extension for MMCAP membership.

Adding Texas will boost the buying cooperative's purchasing power for pharmaceutical and medical supplies, said Sara Turnbow, manager of MMCAP business operations. "The volume of purchases by Texas healthcare facilities strengthens MMCAP's purchasing power and our ability to negotiate contracts for even greater cost savings," Turnbow said.

MMCAP is a voluntary group purchasing organization for government healthcare facilities in 46 states and the cities of Los Angeles and Chicago. The organization uses volume contracting and active contract management to provide value in pharmaceuticals and related products to its members.

The buying cooperative offers its members and their health facilities pricing advantages on pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, vaccines, dental supplies and other member-requested product lines. The organization is operated and managed by Minnesota's Department of Administration.

MMCAP began operations in 1985. Every two years the organization issues Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking responses from pharmaceutical manufacturers on more than 6,000 products. Less frequently, RFPs are issued for other services that MMCAP provides.

The cooperative does not establish a formulary, but it compiles a list of frequently used drugs from its facilities. Participating facilities are encouraged, but not required, to exclusively use MMCAP contracts and contract pricing, because the contracts create the volume that results in the best value for all members.

All of the cooperative's RFPs are announced on Minnesota's Department of Administration web site and on the MMCAP web site.

MMCAP member facilities purchase products worth more than $1 billion per year and have national account status with the major brand name and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers. Organizations interested in learning how to become a member should e-mail Mn.MMCAP@state.mn.us.

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