Request Addendum 1
July 2, 2019
IFB #024-40, Prescription & OTC Sundry Drugs Annual Contract, Addendum 1
ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THIS ADDENDUM BY INSERTING ITS NUMBER IN THE BID FORM; FAILURE TO DO SO MAY SUBJECT BONA FIDE BIDDER TO DISQUALIFICATION.
THIS ADDENDUM FORMS A PART OF THE PROJECT DOCUMENTS; IT MODIFIES THEM AS FOLLOWS:
The following questions were submitted for response:
Q1: Requiring same day medication delivery is greatly limiting an open and competitive bid process in which Hall County may be able to realize significant cost savings to the pharmacy program at Hall County jails. Will you please permit next business day delivery of medications, which is typical industry standard and utilized throughout the state of Georgia by correctional institutions, to allow bidders with extensive correctional pharmacy expertise and tremendous buying power to participate in your bid process in order to help the County lower expenditures?
A1: The same day delivery requirement will stand as listed in the bid specifications. The requirement was established at the request of Hall County Jail’s management to maintain the operational efficiency of medication distribution within the Detainee population.
Q2: If not, what reservations does Hall County have in permitting medications to be delivered the next day and lowering costs, like most other correctional institutions in the state of Georgia, if urgent medications can be administered from an interim stock supply or acquired locally?
A2: Storage space for medication is limited and not all medications may be kept in stock. If a specific medicine was needed immediately and not readily available within the facility, same day delivery would still be required from a local pharmacy. This would necessitate the establishment and maintenance of a second contract for the limited services which would create additional administrative expense to the County.
Q3: The IFB indicates that prescription orders are to be taken by and filled by a State of Georgia registered pharmacist. This is a mandatory requirement you must be willing to meet due to the facilities being penal institutions. Requiring a Georgia licensed pharmacist to dispense all prescriptions is limiting competition to those pharmacies who have a Georgia licensed pharmacist on staff. If a pharmacy is properly licensed in Georgia as a non-resident pharmacy in good standing with the board, and if the pharmacy sub-contracts any inspection requirements to a Georgia licensed pharmacist, will that be acceptable to Hall County? If not, what concerns does Hall County have regarding a properly licensed non-resident pharmacy providing medication dispensing to Hall County as a pharmacist’s state of licensure is not indicative of their clinic knowledge nor assures any advantage to the medication dispensing process?
A3: The listed requirement for a prescription to be taken and filled by a State of Georgia registered pharmacist will stand as listed in the bid specifications at the prerogative of the Hall County Jail’s management.
Q4: What is the average number of prescriptions filled per month for the past 12 months for each facility?
A4: The total number of prescriptions filled for all facilities during the present 11 months of FY19
(July 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019) is 6,488 for a monthly average of 590. Each facility did not require prescriptions in every reporting month of FY19. The breakdown by facility is as follows:
• Facility H – Hall County Detainees, Average 576 over 11 months
• Facility D – Federal Detainees, Average 15 over 9 months
• Facility 1 – Habersham County Detainees, Average 4 over 3 months
• Facility Z – Dawson County Detainees, Average 2 over 2 months
Q5: What type of medication packaging (blister cards, vials, strips, other) do you currently use?
A5: As stated on Page 6, Section F. Basic Requirements/Specifications, Item 7: “Blister Packs: The use of blister packaging is to be utilized when possible.”
Q6: How many days’ worth of medication (7, 14, 30 days) is typically dispensed for routine medication orders?
A6: The standard prescription requests a 30 day supply.
Q7: What company is your current pharmacy services provider?
A7: Riverside Pharmacy, Gainesville, GA
Q8: Please provide the pricing, rates, or discounts being applied to the present contract.
A8: Please reference Attachment A. This information may be accessed through the following file sharing site:
(Both Username and Password are Case Sensitive)
Q9: Can you please provide via addendum the current pharmacy contract being accessed by Hall County for medication dispensing and pharmacy program management services at the jails?
A9: The Basic Requirements/Specifications and enclosed Sample Contract provided in the present bid document are a direct duplication of the existing contract’s requirements. The present contract pricing has been provided in Attachment A per Q8, above.
Q10: Do you currently receive credit for returned medications?
A10: Yes, the County does receive return credits.
Q11: Not all pharmacies apply the same safeguards once medications are returned to them. When a pharmacy reclaims medication for future re-dispensing, if each individual bubble of the blister pack is not labeled with the medication’s name and strength, lot number, and expiration date for those medications eligible for reclamation, tracking this information for a medication subsequently re-dispensed to your patients would be difficult if not impossible. To avert patient safety issues that will result from outdated or recalled medications being dispensed to Hall County, will you require the pharmacy to dispense medications in blister card packaging where each individual bubble of the blister card on those medications eligible for reclamation is labeled with the medication’s name and strength, lot number, expiration date, and manufacturer’s name?
A11: The information must be labeled on each individual blister card but not on each individual bubble.
Q12: Will a bidder’s failure to provide proof of compliance (such as a sample blister card) at the time of proposal submittal deem a bidder who is unable to ensure inmate safety (in the event of a medication recall) as non-responsive and therefore ineligible for an award?
A12: As stated on Page 6, Section F. Basic Requirements/Specifications, Item 12. Evaluation and Award: “The County may require the bidder to make their facility available for inspection or may require additional information concerning their ability to perform a contract for this service. Failure to comply if requested will be cause for rejection of bid.”
Q13: Medication utilization data is extremely important for bidders in determining a final and accurate bid rate in their response to your solicitation. Even though the IFB has a small listing of commonly utilized medications, not providing actual utilization data to all bidders would result in an unfair competitive advantage to your incumbent provider who already has this information. All bidders, not just your incumbent provider, need the actual medication utilization information to firmly establish their bid rates more accurately and intelligently and in the best interests of your facilities. So no unfair advantage is imparted to your incumbent pharmacy provider, can you please provide copies of your two most recent monthly pharmacy invoices or a two-month utilization report that includes actual pharmacy utilization?
A13: Past prescription requests are indicative of the medical needs of the Detainee population at that particular time period and do not represent present or future needs of the constantly changing population of the facilities, nor do they provide a purchase quantity commitment by the County. Prescription/Invoice information will be provided for the two most recent months as Attachment B. This information may be accessed through the file sharing site identified in A8 above:
Q14: Do you currently receive inspections of the medication areas at your facility?
Q15: Many facilities are using electronic medication administration records (eMARs). Do your facilities currently use an electronic prescription order entry and eMAR system that is provided by your pharmacy vendor at no additional cost? If so, what is the name of the system?
A15: The County utilizes CorEMR but does not use the electronic prescription ordering and prefer to order manually.
Q16: Many facilities within the industry the size of Hall County are using electronic check-in and return programs for inventory management. Do your facilities currently use a barcode electronic order reconciliation and medication return management system that is provided by your pharmacy vendor at no additional cost? If not, would you consider adding this requirement to your current solicitation?
A16: The County does not presently utilize barcoded electronic check-in or return and will not modify the present requirements to make this a mandatory item. A vendor wishing to present this as an optional service may note that option on Page 9, Section J, Exceptions to or Variations from Specifications.
Q17: Do Hall County personnel currently have access to an online reporting dashboard for you to access meaningful and accurate reporting 24/7/365 that is provided by your pharmacy vendor at no additional cost? If not, would you consider adding this requirement to your current solicitation?
A17: The County presently does not have access to an online reporting dashboard. A vendor wishing to present this as an optional service may note that option on Page 9, Section J, Exceptions to or Variations from Specifications.
Q18: Do your facilities currently use an electronic health record (EHR)/electronic medical record (EMR) system? If so, what is the name of the system?
A18: Yes, the County presently utilizes the CorEMR system.
Q19: Is an interface required to connect with the system to transmit prescription orders and is the system also used for eMAR purposes?
Q20: Would you please provide the name, email address, and phone number for your software account executive so bidders can reach out to discuss system capabilities and interface specifications?
A20: All questions concerning network connections and capabilities should be directed to Hall County’s Director of Management Information Systems, Mr. James Thomas Jr, at email@example.com
All other terms and conditions remain the same.
Hall County Board of Commissioners
Chuck Pinney, Purchasing Supervisor
7/3/2019 8:00 AM
Invitation for Bid
Open Until Contracted
Bid Opening Information:
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 3:00
Chuck Pinney, Purchasing Supervisor, firstname.lastname@example.org