Defense Health Care:

Pharmacy Copayments

HEHS-99-134R: Published: Jun 8, 1999. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 1999.

Additional Materials:


Stephen P. Backhus
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Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO responded to concerns regarding its previous recommendations proposing that Department of Defense (DOD) pharmacy programs charge copayments for prescription drugs.

GAO noted that: (1) the recommendations in GAO's report were designed to correct serious problems in DOD's pharmacy benefit programs and at the same time enable a more flexible and richer benefit package at the lowest possible cost; (2) GAO believes that the introduction of incentive-based copayments is an essential element in the overall plan to provide stable, high-quality pharmacy benefits over the long term; and (3) Medicare-eligible retirees should be better off with a pharmacy benefit that covers the drugs they need with a reasonable copayment compared with a copayment-free benefit that does not include many of those drugs.

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