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Medicare Part D spent more than twice as much on hundreds of prescription drugs than the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2017, largely because the agency representing military veterans was able to negotiate prices directly with drug makers, according to a new report.

Specifically, the VA paid 54% percent less, on average, than the Medicare program for 399 brand-name and generic medicines, even after accounting rebates and other pricing discounts. Of those medicines, VA paid 68% less for 203 generics and 49% less for 196 brand-name drugs.

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