The Legislature of Alabama finds that the high cost of pharmaceuticals is a matter of much concern to this state, especially as the cost and utilization of drug therapy continues to rise. Insofar as this rise represents a trend towards drug therapy in lieu of more invasive and expensive procedures, it represents a positive change. At the same time, increasing drug costs can effectively prevent large numbers of patients from accessing vital medication. The solution to this problem should be market-based. This legislation attempts such a solution by (1) consolidating the state's buying power in the pharmaceutical market, and (2) authorizing the State Health Officer to negotiate rebates and discounts from pharmaceutical manufacturers. The result should be better prices for agencies and departments of the State of Alabama and better access to life-saving drugs for clients, by law, they are mandated to serve.