VA drug copay

VA Drug Copay Rules May Change

VA drug copay

Newly proposed guidelines created by the Department of Veterans Affairs may result in lower drug copay for veterans purchasing prescription drugs.

If approved, the changes would begin January 1, 2017. The changes to a tiered system may result in many veterans seeing a significant reduction in how much they pay annually for their respective drug copay and avoid annual increases in payment amounts.

SEE IT: Proposed Drug Copayment Changes Document


The current VA drug copay for non-exempt veterans is $8-$9 for each 30-day or less medication prescription. The new rulemaking would limit future rate increases and instead, create a three-tiered system to classify the drugs and respective copay amounts. Tier 1 would cost $5. Tier 2 would cost $8. Tier 3 would cost $11. Veterans who are exempt will still receive their exempt status.


VA predicts the tiered system will result in lower payments for most veterans:

Based on a comparison of the current and proposed copayment amounts, we anticipate that most veterans would realize between a 10 and 50 percent reduction in their overall pharmacy copayment liability each year based on historic utilization patterns. By our estimates, 94 percent of copayment eligible veterans would experience no cost increase, and 80 percent would realize a savings of between $1 and $5 per 30-day equivalent of medications. The proposed copayment amounts intends to support patient adherence, reduce instances of veterans not filling prescription medications and assisting veteran health improvements from chronic disease…. Annual savings would be even greater for veterans with a large number of medication copayments. VA estimates that at least 50 percent of all billable prescriptions would be in Tier 1, with no more than 35 percent in Tier 2, and approximately 15 percent in Tier 3. Exact estimates for Tier 1 and Tier 2 are not possible at this time and would depend on the final list of medications selected for Tier 1.


VA proposed the changes based on research showing certain pricing strategies were putting veterans at risk from failures to seek medications due to cost pressures:

In addition to higher copayments increasing the risk that veterans will not fill their prescriptions, VA’s lack of competitive copayment pricing increases the likelihood that veterans will obtain their prescribed medications from other sources. Fragmentation of prescription records to more than one pharmacy increases the risk of an incomplete medication record, which can lead to unintended adverse reactions. Different clinicians caring for the patient may not be aware of all the medications that the patient is taking VA medical providers need to be aware of all of the medications a veteran is taking to avoid unintended prescribing of contraindicated medications. Through this rulemaking, we believe that we can prevent or minimize these unintended or adverse effects of patients choosing multiple pharmacies to fill their prescriptions.

According to VA, a large body of research shows that higher copayment amounts negatively affect a patient’s adherence to a certain treatment plans. So the apparent argument in support of the change is that veterans will have greater access to pharmaceutical medications.

On the surface, this plan seems like a win for veterans in the long term. Be sure to take a look at the proposed rule change to see what you think. Will it truly help veterans or is there an ulterior motive?


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  1. I take three different meds for service related disability, I also take three different meds for non service medical problems. The non service related meds cost me $24.00 each for a 90 day supply. I can get all three of those meds 90 day supply from local drugstores like Walmart or Fred Meyer etc for a little over $27.00 for all three of them instead of $24.00 each. Does that sound like the VA is ripping us off?

    1. I should have added I know that is not very much money but when you live on social security and a 20% service related disability that extra $50-60 saved a month is a lot.

  2. Veterans should not pay ANYTHING for care! Chances are they are sick because of their service! I think it’s an atrocity to charge a veteran who put their lives in harms way any price since they gave themselves for the price of freedom!
    Also it’s atrocious that burial’s are not fully funded in any plot anywhere! $200 Burial allowance. the lies people are fed about benefits! The price of freedom is high and we pay it, the government and the people should fully fund any necessary care or burial for those that put this country first!

    1. @Diana Smith Hill-

      You are spot-on. I have taken care of one of two Veteran best friends’ funeral/remains in last 5 years and I also found them lifeless doing wellness check after not hearing from them and using my keen intuition, and was alarmed that the VA is pretty much like Social Security in that it’s a few hundred dollars and when the VA says they will provide a “marker”, make no mistake that should mean anything remotely resembling a headstone. No, it’s literally a “Plot Marker”.
      The first Vet was like me, 100% Svc. Connected, no family to speak of, however, he had gotten himself all messed-up with herein and the VA had dropped him from drug rehab program saying he was all okay and he was living in unsupervised apartment at that point…then the VA approved his 100% and 7 years of back pay, a herein addict with a $80k paycheck…an irresponsible way for the VA to act and I still believe the VA may as well have killed him because when I called his VSO (I knew who he was), because I was the emergency contact as well, I questioned WHY would the VA drop a bunch of cash like that into the lap of an active herein addict? His VSO’s response, I swear was, “Well, the VA is just happy he got his benefits”….WTH???? Case closed. Over. Damn!

      The second Vet best friend that died Summer of 2014 and I also found his body, had not enough Activated National Guard time to qualify for even the $200. from VA. I took it upon myself to deal with that situation just because it was the right thing to do.
      I would also do same for my cat or any sentient being…the VA not so much.
      You are lucky to even find a crematory that charges less than $1000. and that’s with a cardboard office depot box and ashes to go, nothing fancy.

      Sorry, ranted again. My bad. Struck a nerve and needed to vent.

  3. You don’t need no stinkin’ drugs! They just kill your liver and kidneys. Drugs make you do more drugs due to side effects in an over 5:1 ratio.

    At least 15% of the population is chemical sensitive, mostly due to Cherokee Indian blood in the SE USA esp. (and SW USA too.) Some may need them, but I say stuff those gd drugs where the Sun don’t shine. ymmv

    I was given flouxetine, and I had internal GI bleeding, I was dull and listless the whole time, and I finally quit when my face and wrists started breaking out into open sores due to a Sun reaction (all within 1.5 weeks. is your friend! It said clearly, Native Americans have significant skin reactions as well as others with flouxetine. You people better wake up. Occasional herbs, acupuncture, exercise, and diet are all most need and it doesn’t cost that much either (for out of pocket costs.) Good luck to those doing VA drugs! It’s killing you.

  4. Something I went to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for, thanks to a Washington D.C. Law firm, but lost in a 2 to 1 decision, is finally sinking in. My VA charges for a 3 prescription 90 day supply is $84, Taking my VA prescription to my local drug store the cost for my 3 prescription-90 day supplies is $30. All dependent upon the medication needed.

    Someday they may get it just right.

  5. Benjamin-

    In today’s “Bad VA Art” it looks much more like the perfume counter staff at Macy’s showing a new perfume or powder rather than any VA Pharmacy…plus, the pharmacist is looking to be out of her cage and even acting like she has the casual time to do so when ANYONE that has used the VA knows that a VA Pharmacy is always as busy if not more so busy than a fast food restaurant at lunch hour…it’s literally ‘fast food medicine’….but you have to ‘hurry-up and wait for it’.

    That woman in photo could just as well be holding a container of salt or it could be a pest control company showing the new way to kill the VA’s experimental steroid cockroaches from overtaking the employee lounge.
    She’s also smiling…tell-tale sign it cannot be the VAMC.

  6. I see the President is now on speaking about gun violence in the US while there is breaking news in Afghanistan about deaths of special operation forces. Also one of medevac helicopter sent in to evac the wounded was damaged and still sitting on the ground.

    The Washington Post claiming that the helicopter hit a wall while landing and other sources are saying it was hit by a mortar after landing.

    More likely it was hit by one of the TOW Missiles we supplied the Moderate rebel in Syria. As another cover-up begins.

    No one is safe accepting any medication from any VA Doctor.

  7. Clinicians need to be aware of all medications a veteran is on? Well, they have the vets records readily available which they should be reviewing, so claiming this rule will help that is bullshit.
    The key to this is their comment about competitive pricing. This means they are solely worried about veterans going elsewhere for better care to simply refill a prescription. Many vets in some areas are not service connected and go to the VA simply because prescriptions are much cheaper, even with the copay. If those vets have found a source for getting them elsewhere, THAT is what the VA is worried about, and nothing more.
    They are worried thousands of vets will no longer be counted as going to the VA, or counted as liking the VA simply because their prescriptions are cheaper.

  8. You are right, you have to draw titers and identify the viral strains through which CMV ( cytomeglavirus nucleus cells) that are resistant. In which a DNA profile of the virus can be identified. Research is key through evidence based medicine and actually listening to the patient . Evidence based medicine is actually listening to the patient

    1. Probably if the co-pay was removed for all service connected veterans the modifications in va by reducing all other costs involved would save va and vet money.

  9. This is related to healthcare. Obama’s proposal plan on gun control could easily make any person that is deemed by ANY health professional or Mental Health Dr., to report and place them on banned from buying AND owning ANY guns.
    I read a lot about this last night and this morning and nowhere in proposal does it state where they draw the line with that. Is any Veteran with Anxiety, PTSD, Depression, and taking meds for same or other conditions going to be reported to ban gun ownership? This is serious shit and idiotic gun violence is unfortunate and am not downplaying it’s significance as well as better mental health treatment in USA….but this is WAY too much like pre-Nazi-Germany Occupation in disarming and I think this is going to affect Veterans in a big way because just think how the VA Psych Quacks will interpret this…or anyone on Disruptive Committee Flagged List how it will affect them?
    Here’s the basis of Obama’s Plan to rip 2nd Amendment to shreds:

    The plan:
    Requires background checks for all gun sales and strengthens the background check system. This would include removing barriers under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act so that states may more freely share information about mental health issues involving potential gun purchasers.
    Provides states with monetary incentives—$20 million in fiscal year FY 2013 and a proposed $50 million in FY 2014—to share information so that records on criminal history and people prohibited from gun ownership due to mental health reasons are more available.
    Bans military-style assault weapons and limits magazines to a capacity of 10 rounds.
    Provides additional tools to law enforcement. The plan proposes a crackdown on gun trafficking by asking Congress to pass legislation that closes “loopholes” in gun trafficking laws and establishes strict penalties for “straw purchasers” who pass a background check and then pass guns on to prohibited people.
    Urges Congress to pass the administration’s $4 billion proposal to keep 15,000 state and local police officers on the street to help deter gun crime.
    Maximizes efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime. The president calls upon the attorney general to work with U.S. attorneys across the country to determine gaps occurring in this area and where supplemental resources are appropriate.
    Provides training for “active shooter” situations to 14,000 law enforcement, first responders and school officials.
    Directs the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to issue a statement to health care providers that they are not prohibited by federal law from reporting threats of violence to the proper authorities.
    Launches a national gun safety campaign to encourage responsible gun ownership and authorizes the Consumer Product Safety Commission to examine issues relating to gun safety locks.
    Helps schools invest in safety. The president’s plan calls for more school resource officers and counselors in all schools through the Community Oriented Policing Services hiring program. The plan also calls for the federal government to assist schools in developing emergency management plans.
    Improves mental health awareness through enhanced teacher training and referrals for treatment. The plan calls for the training of 5,000 additional mental health professionals nationwide. The plan also calls for coverage of mental health treatment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008


    1. That’s 20 million and 60 million that the government has not been authorized to spend by congress, and….they really don’t have it…they are already over budget..

      Someone needs to stand up and stop the idiots in charge from making these fiscally irresponsible actions.

    2. This entire proposal is bullshit because either the problem does not exist (gun show loopholes) or the DOJ does such a pathetic job of prosecuting existing laws such as straw purchasers. All of the other crap is nothing more than schemes for federal tax dollars to flow to the right people expected to support this nonsense, and will do little to curb the problem.
      What part of this will fix the problem in Chicago? Baltimore? How many crimes involving illegal gun use have been prosecuted in either of those cities?
      The mental health aspect of this BS is nothing more than an expansion of what he already started with the VA over 2 years ago. When your PCP or other quack innocently asks you about who pays the bills in your house, if you say your wife handles all of that, they can, and have done so, will declare you incompetent to handle your own affairs, and that will be reported to the feds and you will be barred from gun ownership.

      1. Does anyone see what’s happening? He’s slowly stripping legitimate American gun owners of their rights under the 1st, 2nd, 5th & 8th Amendments of our Constitution & Bill of Rights.

        I watched a video on Utube yesterday with Ted Nugent. He stated something interesting.
        He said, “Let’s forget we have a document!” (Refering to the Constitution.) “Forget it exsists!”
        He then continued,
        “Who has the right, while I’m on or inside my property, to tell me HOW I’m supposed to defend my family?”

        He made these statements to a reporter asking him about owning weapons. If you know anything about Ted Nugent, you’ll understand exactly what he meant about “Responsible Gun Ownership!”
        He’s also extremely anti- Obama.
        There were also examples given by him explaining what should happen to career criminals. Let’s just say I agree with him on those issues.

        It was on Utube. Find it, watch it. Ted Nugent also will probably be speaking out over this new (illegal) “Executive Order” Obama has dealt the American Citizens.

      2. Yep. Overreach is an understatement in what Obama is proposing. Speaker Ryan is vehemently against this as well as many other politicians and Americans alike. Trump said he will shred any Executive Order as soon as he got in…I am thinking that this needs prevented way before that.

        Let’s just say I agree fully with Ted. Nugent as well.

        What Obama is proposing will only vilify anyone that receives any type of mental health care because this highly encourages them to report to this ‘system’ to prevent gun ownership.

        What exactly defines inability to own firearms? Who makes this decision, if it even is allowed to happen?

        I am thinking of a classic scene in ‘The Simpsons’ where the whole town has torches and pitchforks, chasing Homer…but this “Homer” happens to live in Whitehouse.

        Local sheriff said on news that all this Obummer Proposal will do is cause an uptick in home invasions to steal guns…fact. Thugs never get guns legally…why have something registered in your name when you can have an anonymous thug gun? Fact. Their like ‘burner phones’ to thugs. Only people affected by Obummer will be law abiding citizens. Fact.

    3. that’s right, that’s exactly what is going to happen. disarm as many veterans as possible. many of us have seen the tactics the va docs use to get one to divulge they own a weapon. used to flat out ask, but they do it now round-robin type wording in what you think is just a conversation and veteran innocently says something, that in any other place would be ignored, but va doc will use it, you can bet your arse. to make null HIPPA will open doors to confiscation. no question about it. the dems and janet reno has even said as much.

      how many years does it take to fight for a legitimate claim at va/fed-gov? yep, long long time. very few will have the resources to fight a “confiscation”claim even if a citizen is allowed to fight it. serious shit for sure. pre-nazi replicated. part of the plan all along, just so hard to even believe we have that going on here in America.

      1. Well, his removal of due process for one. His removal or restriction of Constitutional rights without that due process. His unilaterally changing HIPAA law by fiat.

      2. @Walt
        He is cicumventing Congress by spending taxpayer’s monies to implement this. He cannot ever use “executive powers” when spending taxpayer’s monies without it first going before Congress.
        Therefore he is illegally NOT abiding by his NONauthority of NOT having Congress pass a spending bill on this issue, period.

        According to many “Constitutional Authorities”, what he’s been doing, especially with this issue, IS an impeachable offense.

        Lastly, he’s been threatening to do this for months. It’s only been more apparent in the past few weeks. Especially since San Bernardino. Have you noticed he has not signed it yet?
        Did you know there is a “Bill” getting ready to hit his desk tomorrow? This Bill gets rid of many of the “line-items” in Obamacare, defunds Planned Parenthood and other items he got on the new “budget”?
        This was brought out yesterday on the Herman Caine Show and today on the Sean Hannity Show. He can’t veto it because it passed both houses with a majority of votes. And you will not hear of it on “Main Stream Liberal Medias”!

        So, in essence, he’s stuck between that rock and a hard place!

      3. @crazyelf- THAT may just be what pushes Obama to literally go ape$hit…the monetary approvals needed for half a Billion for mental health and all the new hires, et al….meanwhile, the Feds. cannot keep a Veteran Suicide Program viable…what’s terribly wrong with this picture?

        Obama going ape$hit would be Kenyan Full Dictator Mode (KFDM, and not to be confused with the great music group), and declaring Martial Law. I hope to God I am wrong but I saw this shit coming back when Pres. Bush and Pals made The Patriot Act. I doubt very many Americans ever read it entirely, as it started seriously shredding our rights, and I remember that not even a majority of Congress had even READ the whole thing but voted almost unanimously for it…again, look no further than history from Germany *just before* the Nazi Party showed their true ambitions.

        I am no attorney but from what I understand about The Constitution, a President cannot arbitrarily make changes to the Constitutional Rights.

        Maybe it’s time for a “TURD PARTY” since “Tea Party 2” does not sound as nice:-)

      4. @namnibor and others
        Do y’all remember me and others telling about that vet up in Idaho, this past early summer, who had his weapons taken away because VA said he was incompetent? Then all of a sudden a couple of representatives (one from Washington State), the Chief of Police and LOTS of others decended and defended him? There was a big uproar over it!
        Well, in the end, the VA capitulated. Gave him his rights and money back. And have left him alone since.

        Too bad we don’t see that kind of “action” from our representatives on the local level here in the U.S.A. more often.

      5. I recall that, and recall a few members of Congress speaking out about his gun grabbing then. That happened after another vet in California had his taken away.
        Which brings the question, why is he only doing this with social security recipients now? Why did he single out veterans back then? I believe he fully intended to roll this out piecemeal covering all federal agencies hoping nobody would notice, or that another mass shooting would give him the excuse he needed.
        What pissed me off about this is seeing citizens stripped of their rights, while his administration would not even allow DHS or Immigration to look at the San Bernardino shooters Facebook postings.

      6. @crazyelf and all-

        THAT is what is called “A Momentary Lapse of Reason”…when Politicians do the right thing. They do occasionally are very helpful but this is not to be expected. I often wonder of my Senator would have been so helpful had he not known I was one of the Team Leader Field Managers that worked on his re-election campaign.
        However, as hot as an issue as Gun Ownership and guarantee to arm oneself is, I think Obama may have bitten off more than he realized when he talks about such things at the same time we are in our 15th consecutive year of these wars and the POTUS still refuses to use the term “Radical Islamists or Muslims”, and at a time when we KNOW the damn terrorists have THE EXACT MACHINE WE USE to make VISA’s…and they are recruiting from within the USA…from the very thugs Obama wishes to ignore their crime and call them “disenfranchised youth” (he says that a lot).

        No. Americans want to feel safe and the gun sales are through the roof for a reason because the USA is not giving them that safe feeling they can believe in…and definitely not that verbal diarrhea slogan of “That Change You Can Believe In”.

        Sorry. I have finally had it with this POS POTUS…hey, that has a ring to it…POSPOTUS…PO-SPOT-US (urban dictionary version of Police Spotted by Us)…rant over. Impeach and make him and his family use the Chicago Area VAMC…South Side. Oh…silly me I forgot, The Obama Family is buying a home in New York City, not even going back to Chicago, so why would he care about where the real problems lay with gun control?
        I hate hypocrites.

        Rant over.

      7. Something I have been thinking about is the huge push to take away the narcotic pain medication and replace it with the anti depressants. This is happening across this nation and if they can use the fact that you are taking depression medication, even though it is for pain, could this be enough to deny you the ability to get a gun? Could it be used to take away the guns you already have?
        Could this have been the big push to get the narcotics replaced with the anti depressants before this gun bill goes into effect. Get as many individuals on these “other” meds (anti depressants) so the ability to own and/or keep a gun is now something you will never be able to do?
        Just a thought,

      8. @f8f
        You and I and others on here and reading are on the exact same wavelength.
        Yes, the push is on in the civilian mental health field as well, trying to get patients that have been ‘stabilized’ from Anxieties/PTSD with Benzo’s are now finding the Dr.’s trying to get you to get off the meds that work, even if one has already gone through years of playing darts with your brain with meds until one feels just right…and I refuse to play along. I am already on Cymbalta as well and it’s the only antidepressant I have ever been able to somewhat tolerate and it’s also for pain as well as anxiety/PTSD, but I told the Medical Resident this last time that I will completely do without those meds and move to Colorado. THAT makes their eyebrows go up, but give them nothing.
        Folks…you ALL better be damn careful what you say and do not say when at your Dr.’s offices with all that’s going on currently…whether that is private medical with Medicare or CHAMPVA, or Vets using the VAMC’s…I think this needs serious address because I can only see glum days ahead in how the VA will interpret this in their demented demonic way.

        Does not this egregiously violate every HIPPA Law???

      9. nam,
        I agree on watch what you say. I now have a suicide risk assessment in my permanent medical records because my psychologist and I were talking and I brought up a different view on the question that is asked, and displayed everywhere within and around the VAMC’s. That is the “do you feel as if you are a harm to yourself or others?” question that is asked at least once during a visit, phone call, meeting, ETC… and I ran the reverse psychology question and asked what if a veteran has heard this so much and it is so implanted in his/her brain that if they do get very depressed, the thing they hear is the “harm yourself” and maybe that is what could push them over the edge.
        We were just talking and I thought nothing more about it until I looked at my records. It was used as part of the “risk assessment”. I was and still am completely ticked off about this. He also used some other things that if he would have asked me about them I would have gave him an answer and this whole thing would have never had to have been put into my records to follow me for the rest of my life.
        The result of the two page report, NO SUICIDE RISK DETECTED. Two-thirds of the report were things we had said, most just while we were talking and not as part of the session, trying to make me look as if I could be a risk and the last third was the no risk at all part.

      10. Crazy elf, I am no Obama supporter and have had my share of problems with the VA, nevertheless let me set the record straight on the US Constitution and Executive powers (orders). The president does in fact have the authority to spend tax payer dollars through executive orders, a power granted to him (her) by the US Constitution and tightening of gun control does not violate any of our so called 2nd Amendment rights. The constitution is vague on most issues and its interpretation is the sole responsibility of the Supreme Court. The constitution allows the president to act unilaterally on many issues as the founders recognized that in a representative democracy, debates in congress can be exhaustive and time consuming sometime, putting the country in peril throughout the debate process. I would like to know exactly which “constitutional experts” think that Obama’s executive order is an impeachable offense? I’m not sure if you are aware that Obama has a degree in constitutional law from Harvard, the same school that I studied constitutional law. Your comments tread on a very complicated issue … you should read the book “Rights, Liberties, and Justice” by Epstein and Walker for a fuller understanding of constitutional law.

      11. Having a Constitutional Law degree no longer impresses me given the number of times Obama’s actions have been ruled unconstitutional in the courts.
        Since you believe tightening of gun controls does not violate any 2A rights, please apply that to any other rights and see how you feel about things.
        Tightening control of the drivel I see daily in the media doesn’t affect anyone’s so called 1A rights.
        Tightening control of crooks demanding warrants doesn’t affect your so called 4A rights.
        Tightening control on all these young nitwits voting doesn’t violate the so called 26A.
        It always amazes me how people are so flippant when it comes to giving up rights of others, particularly those that are so clearly spelled out. Surprisingly, these are usually people who somehow find other vague “rights” somewhere in the Constitution, like a right to abortion, which must be next to the Good and Plenty clause.
        As for it being vague, that description is often used by those looking to further bastardize the Constitution in creating a new right, and again, often used by those who cannot comprehend the plain language of the 2A.
        Claiming that the President can bypass Congress when infringing on the rights of US citizens because the country might be in peril and cannot wait for debate is damn dangerous. The President is not a dictator that can rule by executive fiat whenever certain people are fearful, and suggesting as much is foolish, but I never attended Harvard.

      12. 1.) it’s been reported Obama voluntarily turned in his “law degree” a few years ago. As did his wife in 2009! Let’s just say it was due to “dubious college disagreements over whether or not he attended said university!”
        2.) He cannot spend money until it goes through Congress. That is NOT stated anywhere in the Constitution. Where you got that info is also dubious.
        3.) the first AND second Amendments ARE straight forward in their wording. As is all of the Constitution. I believe you need to read them again.
        Also, the speech he gave yesterday was riddled with inaccuracies. We have many laws on the books right now. Laws that he nor the DOJ have refused to enforce.
        4.) If your wondering how the “due process” Amendment is being violated, along with the 1st, 2nd and 8th, think on this. If a person is deemed unfit to own a weapon. What “Rights” will that person have in redressing that issue if wrongly accused? None. This was brought out be Rep. Dowdy (R-SC) a few months ago! He IS a Constitutional Authority!

        There are many examples of Obama commiting an impeachable offense. One real good one I love to site is;
        After his “signature ACA was signed into law”. He later went back and with his “royal pen” changed some of its contents and added some things. Illegally usurping his authority by Not addressing and changing it before going to Congress. BTW, the Supreme Court said that was illegal. Not me!
        It’s been “decided by the Supreme Court” over twenty-two (22) times now Obama has violated the Constitution. Not my words- theirs! I also am not impressed about him being a “Constitutional Authority”! Evidently he’s not, or he wouldn’t break the law so many times!!!!

  10. This is just a scheme to keep veterans at the VA and kill them. If you have comorbid chronic health problems, especially liver disease, you should not be taking 30 + days of meds that drag on for years without ang improvement to your health. The meds alone will damage your kidneys and liver over a period of time if not properly monitored. Don’t get drawn in by saving $$$$!!!! Money kills and that is their weapon of choice. The main issue for veterans is to withdrae yor consent for services, and you will see a big change in their attitude. You will have to do this through your Congressional Rep so that they cannot state that veterans are seeking care at VA when they ask for more money.

    1. Some chronic conditions require one to take those very meds the rest of one’s life and that can include as an example; being co-infected with Hep B and HIV…the rest of one’s life, even when undetectable because “medication vacations” are and have been a thing of the past for almost 10 years now, (the VA is at least 12 years behind research), Infectious Disease Specialists in civilian medical field found that once a person ceased taking regularly the meds or even missed a few doses, the virus’s various strains then become completely resistant to that Class of medicines and leaves one with only one or two multi-drug cocktail drugs that are effective. The VA’s Pharmacy Formulary is antiquated due to direct incompetence that’s perpetuated by the VA’s hack Drs. and the VA wanting to save money.

  11. When you read that entire publication, they seem to simply repeat the same crap about the “Three Tiers” and “Tier Pricing”…I am failing to see absolutely anything new here.
    You want to know what would be *better* regarding VA and Prescriptions? If the VA were to seriously update their damn “Pharmacy Formulary” to reflect medical advances in difficult to treat long-term health conditions then and only then would I even ponder the possibility of utilizing the VA Deathcare.

    What that document drove into my head since I use Medicare and a Medicare Part D Drug Plan. ALL OF MEDICARE utilizes a FIVE TIER System. WHY must the VA still utilize the old 3 Tier System?
    I have a theory.
    In the Medicare Part D 5 Tiers of Drugs it utilizes those two top Tiers 4 & 5 for mostly the newest non-generic meds for difficult to treat and/or long term conditions such as many Cancers, AIDS/HIV, all the Hepatitis Meds, et al.

    What the VA’s 3-Tier System does is keeps in-place a shitty Pharmacy Formulary that’s mostly generics and does not cross-reference with Medicare AT ALL.
    My terrible past experience with the VA is getting an Exception for a needed med NOT on their Formulary, esp. when there’s absolutely no other med that will work in it’s place, is next to impossible to get approval from the VA and even if and when you could get any given med as an Exception, the VA will constantly try to mess with it…and consequently kill given Vet because they do not know what the hell they are doing.

    We Vets make great “Lab Rats” for the VA and their Contracts with Big Pharma….but we “Lab Rats” are not afforded long-term care with said meds because of pricing…even though the VA is a major testing ground for Big Pharma….and notice I did NOT use the term “Clinical Study” with the VA because that would imply some sort of Scientific Method and I cannot consciously grant that to the VA as long as we Veterans are considered expendable lab rats.

    1. I agree 100% with what nanibor has stated. VA was treating me for over 20 years for PTSD. I kept telling them that nothing prescribed was working but they kept adjusting and changing meds. The real culprit was catching Hep C from what I believe was from the vaccination air guns used by the military back in the 70’s (And NO I’m not a intravenous drug user or ever have been.) Countless veterans are living with this disease (diagnosed and undiagnosed) and many that are diagnosed can’t get access to the meds they need due to the cost. Which explains why it’s cheaper to shove antidepressants and anti-anxiety pills down your throat in lieu of a simple Hepatitis test. I also enrolled in a medicare complete plan despite a 100% VA disability rating due to the my experience. I can’t emphasize enough about the need for all veterans to be tested! See if you want to know the real facts about this service connected disease and the nightmare involved with trying to get the medications for it from the Veterans Deathcare.

      1. Gotta second Pat’s position – as a veteran with service-connected hepatitis C (from mass jet gun inoculations) now “undetected” thanks to VA, any assistance to get the right medication to veterans will be appreciated …

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