New GAO Reports: Prescription Drug Pricing Comparison, DOD Business Systems Modernization

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 20, 2013

  • Prescription Drugs – Comparison of DOD and VA Direct Purchase Prices, GAO-13-358, Apr 19, 2013: “When GAO compared prices paid by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a sample of 83 drugs purchased in the first calendar quarter of 2012, DOD’s average unit price for the entire sample was 31.8 percent ($0.11 per unit) higher than VA’s average price, and DOD’s average unit price for the subset of 40 generic drugs was 66.6 percent ($0.04 per unit) higher than VA’s average price. However, VA’s average unit price for the subset of 43 brand-name drugs was 136.9 percent ($1.01 per unit) higher than DOD’s average price. These results were consistent with each agency obtaining better prices on the type of drugs that made up the majority of its utilization: generic drugs accounted for 83 percent of VA’s utilization of the sample drugs and brand-name drugs accounted for 54 percent of DOD’s utilization of the sample drugs. DOD officials told GAO that in certain circumstances they are able to obtain competitive prices for brand-name drugs–even below the prices for generic equivalents–and therefore will often preferentially purchase brand-name drugs.

  • DOD Business Systems Modernization – Further Actions Needed to Address Challenges and Improve Accountability, GAO-13-557, May 17, 2013: “The Department of Defense (DOD) continues efforts to establish a business enterprise architecture (a modernization blueprint) and transition plan and modernize its business systems and processes, in compliance with key provisions of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 and amendments. Nonetheless, long-standing challenges remain.”

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