VA Shoots Down Gov. Schweitzer’s Plan for Cheap Drugs

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it can’t sell the state of Montana the cheaper medicine requested by Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Last week, Schweitzer asked the VA to resell to Montana pharmacies the medicine that the federal agency gets at a discount directly from the pharmaceutical industry.

But the VA says current federal law would prevent it from participating in such a plan. The agency is restricted from redistributing the medicine to anyone other than veterans.

The governor has also recently asked federal permission to import cheaper drugs from Canada.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has not officially responded to that separate request. But the agency has indicated the request could be problematic.

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