By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—State Representative Greg Wren joins a growing list of GOP candidates who have chosen to “call it quits.”
On Thursday, Wren announced he would not seek reelection:
“Taking full measure of my years of public service and emboldened by the prayers of family and friends, I shall retire from the Alabama House of Representatives at the completion of this term in November 2014.”
Many believe that Wren pulled out of the 2014 race because he faced a challenge from the popular Montgomery County Commissioner, Reed Ingram. Others have noted that Wren has given testimony before the Attorney General’s Special Grand Jury in Lee County.
Wren, has been central to the investigation surrounding language placed in the 2013 General Fund budget that would have benefited Speaker Hubbard’s lobbying client American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc.
SB143 was originally drafted by Sen. Arthur Orr, Republican chairman of the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee. The bill was introduced in February and finally passed out of the Senate with three amendments on March 12th. When State Senators sent the budget to the House, there was no language benefitting APCI. But by Feb. 23rd, the House had re-crafted the budget adding a section that would have forced the State into using a Pharmacy Benefits Manager to administer the Medicaid prescription drug purchased. According to the bill:
“The Alabama Medicaid Agency, in order to implement a pharmacy benefit manager program, must seek a pharmacy benefit management organization or manager that will: (i) act in fiduciary capacity and perform its duties in accordance with standards of conduct applicable to a fiduciary, including the allocation of all drug manufacturer rebates, discounts, and incentives to the State General Fund; (ii) establish a maximum allowable cost list; and (iii) operate a group purchasing function with a purchasing base for generic drugs consisting of at least 30% of the retail pharmacies in Alabama.”
Officials stated that those 23 words requiring the PBM have a purchasing base of 30 percent, locked in Hubbard’s client, APCI, as it is the only company that fits the description.
When alreporter.com contacted Wren as to his involvement in the bill, he did not return our calls.
In what sounded more like a farewell address written in 1914 than in 2014 Wren wrote,
“Humbled by the trust and confidence placed in me by the voters… I stand and offer my hands and heart of gratitude for the blessings of serving my constituents and the State of Alabama.”
It is worth watching Wren just to see if he follows his fellow Republicans into the lobbying business at the State House or the labor business at the Big House.