Representatives of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) PBM in a Health Affairs blog post responded to mounting concerns about the department’s collaboration with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.
The authors of the post, Bernie Good, Tom Emmendorfer and Michael Valentino, pointed to a recent blog post by Robert Dubois, National Pharmaceutical Council chief science officer and executive vice president, in which he lobbied for caution going forward with the VA/ICER partnership.
“Veterans are our most important priority; in addition, as a publicly funded organization we are obligated to be good stewards of the tax payers who support our system,” the authors write. “The sole purpose of the VA’s collaboration with the ICER is to have access to and independent assessment of value for new drugs of interest, as just one part of the VA’s overall evidence-based, deliberative process.”
The authors go on and address the NPC’s assertion that the VA’s formulary is “very restrictive,” a claim which they say represents a “fundamental misunderstanding” of how the VA coordinates its formulary design.
” … Claims that the VA’s formulary is restrictive are either misinformed or intentionally misleading,” the authors write.