Saint Louis County, Drugs, and Competitive Bidding: A Privatization Success Story
This study examines the privatization of pharmacy services in Saint Louis County. The author, Show-Me Institute policy analyst David Stokes, reviews trends in both the budget and actual expenses of county pharmacy operation, which show that before 2003, costs were rapidly rising — consistently outstripping budgeted figures. When the county opened a competitive bidding process for provision of pharmacy services in early 2003, costs began to drop dramatically. Since then, the county has spent less than it budgeted on the pharmacy every year, even as those budgeted amounts continue to decrease each year, in response to the significant cost savings. While this privatization was saving taxpayer dollars, it was also — more importantly — providing better pharmacy services to the people of Saint Louis County who used the health department clinics.