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Purpose The patterns of medication acquisition for veterans dually eligible for pharmacy benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare Part D–reimbursed pharmacies were examined.
Methods The characteristics of veterans who used pharmacies reimbursed by (1) VA only, (2) both VA and Part D-reimbursed, and (3) Part D-reimbursed only pharmacies in 2009 were compared and their medication types and sources examined. Pharmacy usage was measured as the number of 30-day medication supplies and the number of different drug classes that veterans received from VA and Part D–reimbursed pharmacies. Chi-square testing and analysis of variance were used to compare unadjusted patient characteristics and healthcare utilization.
Results A total of 145,899 veterans with any VA or Part D-reimbursed pharmacy use were included in the study: 69.6% used VA pharmacies only, 9.9% used VA and Part D–reimbursed pharmacies, and 20.5% used Part D–reimbursed pharmacies only. Veterans who lived in rural areas, were non-Black, had VA medication copayments, or were dual or Medicare-only outpatient users were more likely to be dual or Part D-reimbursed only pharmacy users (p < 0.001). Dual pharmacy users received more 30-day supplies than did the other two pharmacy-use groups (p < 0.001).
Conclusion Nearly one third of VA users received medications from Part D–reimbursed pharmacies, either alone or together with VA pharmacies. Among dual pharmacy users, over half received medications from the same drug class from both VA and Part D–reimbursed pharmacies for which the days’ supplies overlapped by more than seven days.
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