Generic drug costs can be cut: report CBC.ca - Canadians spend too much for generic drugs but there are ways to reduce the costs, according to a report released Friday. The Health Council of Canada’s discussion paper calls for greater transparency on generic drug pricing as provincial governments …
Reforms will make drugs more affordable Standard Freeholder
Why is Ontario, the largest buyer of drugs in Canada, one of the largest in the world, paying the highest prices? When I go home, and talk to my neighbours – many of them seniors on pensions who’ve worked hard for thier money all their lives — they too do want to know. Why do we pay so much for drugs? Here’s an example: Ranitidine. Ontario pays 40 cents per unit wholesale. In the United States 18 cents. Metformin, for diabetics, nine cents in Ontario, one cent in the United States. When you compare our prices with Europe, it’s the same story. Where’s the logic? So what does Shoppers Drug Mart — which by the way made half a billion in profits last year — do? They very strategically target London, home of Deb Matthews, Minister of Health, and they curtail drug store hours. I call that holding patients hostage. Sandra Pupatello MPP for Windsor West and Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development .
No one denies that innovative pharmaceutical products play a key role in ensuring improvements in our health. We’re talking about the price. Is it possible to get the same or better outcomes while spending less? Quebec, too, has a problem with high-priced medications. There are reasons to be sceptical about the high prices charged by the companies which develop our new medications, but there are even more reasons to wonder why copy-cat companies, which pay for no R&D, should charge so much for their versions. Prescription drugs now make up the second-largest element in health spending in Canada, reaching 16.4 per cent, or $30 billion last year. Drug pricing is complicated, especially in Quebec. This province has made special concessions to the pharmaceutical industry – including buying full-price brand-name drugs for the first 15 years a drug is on the market, not the usual 10 years. In return, Quebec-based pharmaceutical companies carry out up to 45 per cent of all Canadian research on and development of prescription drugs. http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Ontario+drug+prices/2948580/story.html
All pharmacists do note it’s important always to talk about reasonable, fair drug prices and to work with us all to determine better prices for all consumers.
Generics now are prescription medications whose patent has expired. They can usually be produced for a few cents per dose. In most parts of Canada pharmacies charge huge markups on these products WITH NO JUSTIFICATION TOO.. And whatever the technique, the results are the same. We THE CITIZENS get hosed with greed and high pricing.. The real scandal is why all this need price control by the governments now has taken so long. There have been calls to action for more than a decade, but falsely still very precious little to show for them. In 1987, the federal government established the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board. The agency controls the prices of all patent (i.e., brand-name) drugs in Canada. And it does a great job. Canada’s patent medicine prices are the envy of our neighbours. That’s why so many Americans shop for drugs here. But the board is only mandated to control brand-name products. It is not allowed to regulate generics. I should be as well. A national approach along those lines would be much more effective than 10 provinces all trying to cut their own deals. The federal government has been strangely quiet on this file. It’s time that changed. Tell them so now too. A billion and a half dollars saved to the taxpayer is scarcely chump change. And stop now all those kickbacks too. http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/must+stop+drug+kickbacks/2949262/story.html
While an acrimonious showdown between Ontario and its pharmacists over ending generic drug rebates continues to fester, other provinces are watching, curious whether a similar prescription could help them control drug costs. Health ministers across Canada will watch what happens in Ontario, Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald said in an interview yesterday. “In the absence of a national strategy, as provinces are trying to find their way in controlling prices, we’re going to be looking at what others are doing.” Quebec has mused about following suit with a similar policy of its own on generic drugs. A spokesman for the B.C. Ministry of Health Services wrote in an email that British Columbia is in negotiations with generic drug makers, and added, “British Columbia appreciates Ontario’s efforts to share information and keep other jurisdictions aware of developments in Ontario.” At least some provinces are blaming the federal government for a breakdown in a multi-year effort to create a National Pharmaceutical Strategy. While that process is stalled, provinces are talking at the regional level about how to join together and force drug prices down. The Western provinces are working on a common purchasing plan, while the Atlantic provinces have begun discussions of their own with regard to a co-ordinated drug buying strategy. And the provinces must target the price of drugs in general, and not just generics.