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Accession Number PB2013-107727
Title Prescription Drugs: Comparison of DOD and VA Direct Purchase Prices.
Publication Date Apr 2013
Media Count 35p
Personal Author N/A
Abstract In fiscal year 2012, DOD and VA spent a combined $11.8 billion to purchase drugs on behalf of about 18.5 million beneficiaries. Both agencies purchase drugs directly from manufacturers via prime vendors--intermediaries that provide the drugs at a discount off the lowest price that would otherwise be available. The agencies dispense these drugs to beneficiaries through their medical facilities and pharmacies, including their mail order pharmacies. GAO was asked to compare prices paid for prescription drugs across federal programs. This report describes direct purchase prices paid by DOD and VA for a sample of prescription drugs. GAO will compare drug prices paid using other approaches and by other federal programs in future work. Using prime vendor data provided by these agencies for the first quarter of 2012, GAO selected a sample of high-utilization and high-expenditure drugs important to both DOD and VA and compared average unit prices paid by these agencies for those drugs. The sample contained 43 brand-name and 40 generic drugs and accounted for 37 percent of DOD utilization, 32 percent of DOD expenditures, 28 percent of VA utilization, and 35 percent of VA expenditures for directly purchased drugs in that quarter. GAO calculated average unit prices by dividing total expenditures by total utilization for each drug, the entire sample, and the subsets of brand-name and generic drugs. GAO also compared DOD and VA average unit prices to the FSS and Big Four prices for each drug. GAO interviewed DOD and VA officials about their drug purchasing approaches and factors affecting the prices they are able to obtain.
Keywords Brand drugs
Federal programs
Generic drugs
Health care expenditure
Medical facilities
Military personnel
Prescription drugs

Source Agency General Accounting Office
NTIS Subject Category 57Q - Pharmacology & Pharmacological Chemistry
44Q - Health Related Costs
74 - Military Sciences
Corporate Author Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1318
Contract Number N/A

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