(MILITARY.COM) — The Veterans Health Administration wastes millions of dollars each year abusing the law that governs the way it buys biological medicines for wounded veterans, sources tell Military.com. VA officials say they believe they're doing nothing wrong.
At issue are biological medicines, or "biologics," which are made from human bone, tissue and fluids of donated cadavers. They're used in medical procedures ranging from knee surgery and burns to cancer treatment and gene therapy.
By defining such medicines as "prosthetics," sources say, VHA takes advantage of a decades-old law exempting procurement of artificial limbs and devices from all other laws. That means VHA officials can pass over the disabled veteran-owned small businesses that otherwise have priority in getting VA contracts, and even shortchange taxpayers by not bringing in a vendor-paid fee written into federal supply schedule contracts.
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