Sunday, October 19, 2014

Vets in Assisted Living and Personal Care Homes may see lower drug costs


A new Pennsylvania law is intended to help lower drug costs for veterans residing in assisted living residences and personal care homes.

Drugs purchased through the Veterans’ Administration are not in single unit doses as required by state law. As a result veterans residing in some care settings have been unable to best use their VA drug benefit.

In 2008 Pennsylvania enacted a law that allowed pharmacists associated with long-term care and skilled care facilities to repackage medications received from the Veterans’ Administration into single doses so veterans could utilize their full pharmacy benefit. But the 2008 law did not apply to veterans residing in assisted living and personal care homes.

Act 147 of 2014 (Senate Bill 1224) closes that gap. Veterans in assisted living residences and personal care homes will now be permitted to acquire lower cost drugs through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and have them repackaged to meet state law requirements.

The pharmacist employed by the assisted living or personal care facility will receive the lower cost drugs directly from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs drug benefit program in the patient's name; and repackage and re-label them so they may be dispensed in unit doses to patients. Procedural requirements parallel those used in long term care and skilled care facilities since 2008.

Act 147 was signed into law on October 14, 2014 and takes effect in 60 days.


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