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In a review of the prescription drug procurement activities of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Veterans Administration (VA), their efforts and those of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) to establish and implement a uniform system for the procurement of drugs among federal agencies were examined. Such a system would eliminate duplication and reduce costs. Currently, drugs are bought centrally through each agency's depot system, through Federal Supply Schedule drug contracts, or locally from drug suppliers. An OFPP policy, which has guided executive agencies in this effort since 1977, requires the purchase of commercial off-the-shelf products when such products will adequately serve the government's needs and the government's use of commercial distribution channels in supplying these products. The commercial products policy relies on comprehensive market research and analysis to develop a suitable and cost effective acquisition strategy.

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