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Board of Public Works approves $2.4B prescription drug contract

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved a $2.4 billion prescription drug contract for state employees.

The board voted 2-1 on Wednesday to award the contracts to Missouri-based Express Scripts Inc.

Gov. Martin O’Malley and Treasurer Nancy Kopp both voted for the contract, saying they believed it has been extensively reviewed. Comptroller Peter Franchot opposed the deal. He questioned an analysis that found Express Scripts made a better offer than Maryland-based Catalyst Rx, which currently has the contract.

The Maryland Department of Budget and Management recommended that Express Scripts receive the contract because the state could save as much as $102 million under the company’s proposal.

The vote came after a prolonged debate over the contract, which was initially slated to be approved last year.