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Single Santa Barbara County Jail Inmate Could Use Jail’s Entire Prescription Drug Budget For Year

Posted on Monday, March 19, 2012 1:12am

A Santa Barbara County jail inmate with a life threatening medical condition could use up the county jail system’s entire annual prescription medication budget. Authorities aren’t releasing specific details about the case, other than to say that the person was arrested on felony charges earlier this year, and is likely to be behind bars for an extended period of time.

The inmate needs the medication at least three times a week, with each dose costing more than $2700 dollars. Over the course of a year, it would cost just over a half million dollars, exceeding the county’s $450,000 annual jail system prescription drug budget. The department hasn’t released the inmate’s name, or the specifics of the charges.

The Sheriff’s Department is asking County Supervisors tomorrow to allow the county to go outside of normal purchasing procedures, to buy the medicine from a Ventura County which is offering a substantial discount.  The Department is required to provide health care services for all inmates.  Efforts to get state funding to help, or a discount from drugmaker Baxter Pharmaceuticals were unsuccessful.

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