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After months of talks, the state of Nevada has joined a consortium formed by Oregon and Washington to pool purchasing power and get better prices on prescription drugs, the latest bid by a state government to try to blunt the rising cost of medicines.

The Northwest Prescription Drug Consortium, which began in 2006, claims to facilitate the purchase of more than $800 million in prescription drugs each year and saved at least 1 million people in Oregon and Washington nearly $100 million over the last six years. Members are given a discount card named ArrayRx Solutions.

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Besides purchasing power, the consortium tries to distinguish itself by charging a “low” administrative fee for each pharmacy claim, passing along all rebates for both traditional and specialty medicines, and offering the same contracted pharmacy rates for public sector and private employer groups. As part of the effort, the consortium works with Premier, a group purchasing organization.

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