USAMMC-K recognized as ‘All-Star’ for continued medication cost-saving efforts

By C.J. LovelaceDecember 3, 2021

Brand to Generic
Members of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Korea's Distribution Center team verify Class VIII medical materiel stock in the warehouse as part of the center's "Brand to Generic" prescription medication initiative. Pictured, from left, are Capt. Benjamin Lee, Pfc. Jin Su Oh, Master Sgt. Rizmel Paguio and Kim Sung-hwan. (Photo Credit: Paek Hye-chin) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP CARROLL, South Korea -- The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Korea was highlighted twice recently as Defense Logistics Agency-Troop Support’s “Brand to Generic All-Star,” recognizing the center’s continued efforts to reduce medication costs through generic options.

USAMMC-K earned the honor in the June and October editions of the DLA-Troop Support Customer Pharmacy Operations Center newsletter, which has included the feature since September 2014.

Capt. Benjamin Lee, who serves as theater pharmacy consultant for the Korean Peninsula, assigned to USAMMC-K, said the recognition is a nod to USAMMC-K’s continuous improvements in the realm of brand-to-generic, or B2G, program.

The center’s pharmacy operations staff have achieved over 98% compliance in recent months, exceeding the 90% benchmark set by the Defense Health Agency.

“We are continuing to improve our process measures to ensure we are both good stewards of taxpayer dollars and compliant with the DHA standards on the Korean Peninsula,” Lee said.

The center has managed to vastly improve its compliance figure in recent years, increasing from about 70% to over 96% over a three-year span. In June and October 2021, USAMMC-K achieved marks of 98.1% and 99.5%.

USAMMC-K, a direct reporting unit to Army Medical Logistics Command, serves as the theater lead agent for medical materiel in support of U.S. Forces Korea.

Across the peninsula, USAMMC-K provides continuous medical logistics support to sustain the operational readiness of USFK throughout the full range of military operations.

The USAMMC-K B2G program requires the pharmacy consultant and purchasing agents to improve compliance analysis before purchasing medications from vendors -- a shift from past practice of monitoring metrics passively. Now, available generics are taken into consideration before opting for brand-name products, helping the joint forces customers to meet DHA’s goal of 90% compliance on brand-to-generic and national vendor contracts.

Lee attributed the continued improvement to B2G efforts to USAMMC-K team sharing the center’s catalog weekly with the military treatment facilities, or MTFs, which order medications from USAMMC-K.

Lee said USAMMC-K’s catalog of Class VIII medical materiel is constantly updated to be compliant with the B2G and national contract standards.

The initiative also includes an educational component, in which Lee informs the MTFs on the availability of generic medications that cost considerably less than brand-name counterparts.

Lee credited Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Agbo as a “great resource” in the effort to improve compliance and reporting.

Agbo, a pharmacist for DLA-Troop Support’s Customer Pharmacy Operations Center, ensures the B2G metric report is used as a guide on each location’s performance.

Agbo also makes sure B2G exceptions, such as when brand-name products are cheaper than generic, are implemented in the B2G report to improve the data collection and reporting process.

“The B2G initiative has been very successful because DLA-Troop Support’s Customer Pharmacy Operations Center constantly engages with Department of Defense customers, like USAMMC-K, to ensure that the B2G report we put out is tactically actionable and serves as a guide to meet compliance standards,” Agbo said.