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Highlights

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spent about $3.0 billion on its outpatient pharmacy benefit in fiscal year 2001. After VA implemented the Veterans' Health Care Eligibility Reform Act in 1999, more veterans could use VA outpatient care, including the pharmacy benefit, than before. Increased eligibility contributed to a doubling of the number of Priority 7 veterans using VA health care. Priority 7 veterans are primarily veterans with higher incomes and no service-connected disability. GAO was asked to report on Priority 7 veterans' use of the outpatient pharmacy benefit and VA's expenditures to provide this benefit. To do this, GAO reviewed VA pharmacy data on use and costs from fiscal years 1999 through 2001.

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