UnlabelledOver the past decade, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pharmacy Benefits Management Services (PBM) has enhanced its formulary management activities and added programs to ensure that the national drug plan continues to meet the pharmacy needs of veterans and to promote safe and appropriate drug therapy in the face of rising medication expenditures. This article describes the broad range of services provided by the VA PBM that work in partnership to deliver a high-quality and sustainable pharmacy benefit for veterans. In support of formulary management, VA PBM pharmacists prepare extensive clinical guidance documents (e.g., drug monographs and criteria for use) that are used by physicians and pharmacists with operational and clinical oversight of the VA national formulary. The VA PBM has utilized various contracting techniques and continually evaluates drug utilization data to identify opportunities for potential savings. Remarkably, since before 2004, the average acquisition cost for a 1-month supply of medication has remained fairly stable at approximately $13-$15. Two new VA PBM programs are the VA Center for Medication Safety (VA MedSAFE) and the Clinical Pharmacy Practice Office (CPPO). VA MedSAFE is a comprehensive pharmacovigilance program focused on the detection, assessment, and prevention of adverse drug events, and CPPO is dedicated to improving safe and appropriate medication use by supporting and expanding clinical pharmacy practice. Moving forward, the VA PBM will consider new initiatives to stay at the forefront of providing quality care while maintaining economic viability.
DisclosuresNo outside funding supported this research. This work was supported by VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services (VA PBM), Hines, Illinois, and VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Glassman is co-director of the VA Center for Medication Safety, which is part of the VA PBM. He is also part of the Medical Advisory Panel for the VA PMB. All other authors are employed by the VA PBM. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors, and no official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or the U.S. government is intended or should be inferred. Study concept and design were contributed by Valentino, Cunningham, Good, Aspinall, and Sales. Calabrese and Ourth took the lead in data collection, along with Good, Cunningham, Aspinall, Sales, Burk, Moore, Neuhauser, and Golterman. Data interpretation was performed by Burk, Newhauser, and Golterman, along with Glassman, Calabrese, Moore, and Ourth. The manuscript was written by Aspinall and Sales, along with Burk, Newhauser, Golterman, Ourth, and Cunningham. Good, Glassman, and Moore revised the manuscript, along with Calabrese, Valentino, and Aspinall.