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April 19, 2021

Veterans News

Remember Everyone Deployed

Drug Benefits—Veterans Affairs Canada

2 min read

It’s important for Veterans Affairs to provide access to drug benefits for veterans. Veterans will need access to prescription drugs, sometimes expensive prescription drugs, and Veterans Affairs needs to make sure that veterans can have access at an affordable cost to those types of benefits. When we looked at this program, we found problems in all three of the areas we looked at. So, we found that the department doesn’t use specific criteria when it makes decisions about what drugs to cover. We found that they are not making sure that the strategies they have in place to contain the cost of the program are effective. And we found that they aren’t monitoring drug usage on the part of the veterans to see if they can indicate any inappropriate drug usage. We found that when the formulary review committee makes a decision, there’s no specific timeline for when that decision has to be implemented.

So, for example, we found that many of their decisions are not implemented for 12 months. So, there’s no specific time within which those decisions have to be put in place. One problem we found was that the department has a strategy in place for substituting generic drugs for name-brand drugs wherever it’s possible and wherever it can make sense. And that will help lower the cost of the program.

But they haven’t done any analysis on that drug strategy, that generic drugs substitution strategy, to see whether it’s actually being used, actually being put in place and actually helping to reduce the cost of the program..

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