The Veterans Administration Center will implement a co-payment plan for prescription drugs beginning Monday.

The new policy is based on a law passed last year, requiring a $2 payment per prescription.The co-payment requirement applies to non-service connected veterans receiving outpatient care, and veterans receiving outpatient care who are rated as less than 50 percent disabled and who are receiving treatment for a non-service connected condition.

The requirement applies only to medications, not medical supplies or prosthetics. Funds collected in the program are forwarded to the general treasury of the U.S. government as the law requires.

Medical Center Director William L. Hodson said the co-payment requirement is the first in the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs. But no eligible veteran requiring medication will be refused if they are unable to pay.

The Salt Lake VA hospital provides services to more than 170,000 eligible veterans from Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming, the largest service area in the nation's 172-hospital system for veterans. And more than 350,000 outpatient and mail-in prescriptions are filled each year by the center's pharmacy service.