Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge drug contract shot down after non-local firm chosen

Coun. Andre Rivette makes a point to CFO Maureen Adams, background, about keeping a drug contract for Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge locally during a city council meeting Sept. 14, 2015. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – With the intention of helping local business, city council has shot down a drug supply contract for Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge.

The current supplier – Classic Care Pharmacy of Nepean – was the best bid meeting specifications following a request for proposals.

There were a half dozen firms that bid, including Medical Arts Pharmacy. CFO Maureen Adams also wanted councillors to know some of the bidders have affiliations with local pharmacies. “There were multiple submissions that were local,” Adams said, besides Medical Arts.

The bid was chosen by an evaluation committee using a scoring system. Half of the points awarded in the scoring system were for quality of approach and methodology and experience and qualifications.

But some councillors were not happy the contract was going out-of-town again to Nepean.

Coun. Elaine MacDonald suggested having an out-of-town firm would affect accessibility.

But council learned, for emergencies, Classic Care Pharmacy has a relationship with Jean Coutu in Cornwall for drug delivery (a so-called satellite pharmacy).

“I would tell you there were several proposals that met the criteria,” CFO Maureen Adams said when questioned by Coun. Andre Rivette about whether it was a question of drug costs.

“We have to stop the bleeding…we need to support the local businesses in our community,” Rivette exclaimed. “Five years ago it always was Medical Arts Pharmacy.”

Coun. David Murphy asked whether a request for proposal would allow preferential scoring for a local provider. CFO Maureen Adams said it’s not allowed.

Coun. Claude McIntosh asked whether there was many of those 2 a.m. calls for emergency drugs. “It has happened,” lodge administrator Norm Quenneville answered. “Everything seems to be above board,” the councillor replied.

“We spent a lot of time preparing this quote…the terms of reference,” Quenneville said.

Acting Mayor Justin Towndale oversaw the proceedings. Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy excused himself after declaring a conflict because his daughter works for one of the bidders in the contract.

I would strongly advise council that…I think we have a problem,” CFO Adams said, suggesting the scope of the contract would have to be changed. “What do we change? I’m not sure what else we could do,” she said.

The current provider has received a letter of extension until the end of October, lodge administrator Quenneville said.

“Are we exposed from a litigation point of view? Absolutely!,” the CFO said, when asked if the city could be set up over legal action.

In the end, Couns. Claude McIntosh and David Murphy were the only councillors to vote for the contract.

It’s not clear what will happen now as staff will go back and review the situation.

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