Agency History

State government today faces intense pressure to reduce service-delivery costs.  Nowhere has this pressure been more unyielding than in the area of healthcare.  Increasing costs in the provision of health care have been a major challenge for state government in meeting budgetary goals. 

Historically, pharmacy services have been a significant part of this increasing cost.  Year after year, medication costs increased at a rate greater than inflation.  The demand for clinical pharmacy services was on the rise while the quality of health care services provided by state institutions was increasingly being questioned. 

In 1992, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts had in its charge approximately 4,000 inpatients housed at 22 facilities in three different agencies.  Concerned about quality and cost issues, the Commonwealth commissioned a study to assess pharmacy services in the departments of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Public Health. 

The study concluded that it was feasible to consolidate and standardize and to integrate pharmacy services across the three agencies — the Office for Pharmacy Services was begun. 

The success of the program was evident in September, 1998, when the Office For Pharmacy Services broadened its responsibilities to include the provision of pharmacy services to 22 Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Correction facilities, bringing the total number of beds serviced to over 15,000. As of October 2013, the program services a population in excess of 22,000 across multiply state agencies, 10 Sheriff’s Departments and 2 Soldier’s homes.  

Program Overview

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office For Pharmacy Services provides comprehensive pharmacy services to public sector healthcare organizations in a cost-effective, clinically responsible manner.  The Office establishes up-to-date clinical pharmacy practice; assures full regulatory compliance; and provides for all aspects of budgeting and purchasing including reporting, forecasting, and accounts payable.  The State Office for Pharmacy Services is dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of agencies/entities within the Commonwealth with a comprehensive and unique pharmacy program. 

Our program begins with:

  • Assessment of an agency’s/entity current pharmacy services:
    • evaluation of adherence to state and federal regulations; preparedness for TJC, NCCI and HCFA surveys;
    • evaluation of the formulary process;
    • determination of effectiveness of budgeting, purchasing, and contracting;
    • Assessment of client / patient / inmate needs.

Our program offers:

  • Extension of our existing state pharmacy services contracts
  • Effective system for selecting prime vendor
  • Programs for inventory control, purchasing, and budgeting designed to reduce inventory, decrease purchasing costs, medication return & reuse, medication waste disposal, improve the accuracy of forecasting and comprehensive  reporting

Our program will:

  • Provide comprehensive medication dispensing systems via unit-dose, blister card or automated dispensing system methodology
  • Provide same day medication delivery system
  • Provide stat medication delivery system 24/7, within 4hrs of order
  • Provide after hour review of medication orders prior to administration
  • Provide medication return & reuse program
  • Provide medication waste disposal program
  • Provide medication at net acquisition cost
  • Provide real time clinical pharmacy medication intervention
  • Provide precise monitoring of high cost medications
  • Provide accurate and useful operational and clinical reports
  • Provide drug treatment guidelines for use with new, high cost medications
  • Provide comparative data with similar institutions to allow administrative benchmarking
  • Provide standardized policies and procedures which can be customized as needed
  • Provide Medication Usage Evaluations on a regular basis
  • Provide medication usage consults for patients with particularly difficult medication problems
  • Provide educational services for pharmacy and agency staff
  • Monitor and document medication usage
  • Monitor and address medication dispensing errors
  • Monitor adverse drug reactions and provide a statewide comparison
  • Assist in the establishment of a model adverse drug reaction reporting program
  • Provide up to date drug-drug and drug-food interaction monitoring
  • Provide written drug information for patients in both English and Spanish
  • Provide guidance in all matters of drug therapy from the State Pharmacy and Therapeutics Advisory Committee
  • Provide professional drug information services

We currently provide complete pharmacy services to the following:

The Massachusetts of Department of Mental Health

  • Worcester State Hospital
  • Taunton State Hospital 
  • Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center (Boston)
  • Corrigan Mental Health Center (Fall River)
  • Cape Cod and the Islands Mental Health Center (Pocasset)

The Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation

  • Fernald Developmental Center (Waltham)
  • Hogan Regional Center (Danvers)
  • Templeton Developmental Center (Baldwinsville)
  • Wrentham Developmental Center

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health

  • Lemuel Shattuck Hospital (Boston)
  • Western Massachusetts Hospital (Westfield)
  • Tewksbury Hospital
  • Massachusetts Hospital School (Canton)

The Massachusetts Department of Correction

  • MASAC (Bridgewater)
  • Bridgewater State Hospital  
  • Massachusetts Treatment Center (Bridgewater)
  • MCI Cedar Junction
  • MCI Concord
  • MCI Framingham
  • MCI Norfolk
  • MCI Plymouth
  • MCI Shirley Medium
  • MCI Shirley Minimum
  • North Central Correctional Center (Gardner)
  • Northeastern Correctional Center (Concord)
  • Old Colony Correctional Center (Bridgewater) 
  • Old Colony Minimum (Bridgewater)
  • Pondville Correctional Center 
  • South Middlesex Correctional Center (Framingham)
  • Sousa-Baranowski Correctional Center (Shirley)


Sheriff’s Departments

  • Barnstable House of Correction
  • Berkshire House of Correction
  • Bristol House of Correction
  • Essex House of Correction
  • Franklin County House of Correction  
  • Hampden County House of Correction
  • Hampshire House of Correction
  • Middlesex House of Correction
  • Norfolk House of Correction
  • Plymouth County House of Correction


Soldiers’ Homes

  • Holyoke Soldiers’ Home
  • Chelsea Soldiers’ Home


The Office for Pharmacy Services provides the Commonwealth of Massachusetts an integrated system benefiting several separate and distinct agencies.  By standardizing policies and procedures, medication distribution systems and personnel systems, we have been able to raise the quality of pharmacy services and realize significant economic benefits.

We have provided savings through consolidation at the initiation of the contract and further by consolidating two central dispensing sites to a single pharmacy distribution center.  The savings have been realized in reduced staffing while simultaneously developing an exemplary clinical service program.  The Commonwealth under STATE OFFICE FOR PHARMACY SERVICES is the first state initiative of this magnitude, utilizing privatization, standardization, and consolidation across multiple entities in a state, while retaining state oversight, control and accountability. The Office for Pharmacy Services is committed to providing “state of the art” services to indivisibles residing in state / county facilities in the Commonwealth.

Our mission is “To provide appropriate medication therapy to its service population served in a cost effective manner.”

Contact Us

Donald Rogers, PharmD, BCPS
Chief of Pharmacy
State Office for Pharmacy Services
365 East Street
Tewksbury, MA 01876

This information is provided by the Bureau of Public Health Facilities within the Department of Public Health.