The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

April 25, 2010

All pharmacists do note – Why do we pay so much for drugs?


 Even if for billing purposes they too often do lie here the reality that is, the too often inadequate, pretentious  doctor or a pharmacist or a nurse, a medical technician as them now supposedly  being  all knowing, experts too but still they  are not infallible, and they can only help you now according their their judgment call which is limited by the amount of direct knowledge,  direct experience, expertise that they  do have. 
Now I have had a skin rashes  on my hand and I have been to 2 hospital emergency departments within the last many months and yet none of them were able to help me, I had consulted even a pharmacist often in the matter. So what had helped me the most next was was off the counter medicine that  I get in a dollar store, by reading the labels on the medication I was able to choose myself an appropriate medicine.
 Now we all know how cumbersome and costly the Medicare- pharmacy system  are.. One doctor has to refer me to another doctor who tend makes a costly  prescription for two weeks and I have to return back to the doctor… and the medical establishment,end basically here was the sole one that prospered the most..More medicine should be available off the counter in non pharmacists stores.. since we can  all  know that the pharmacists too get rich with their price gouging profit   margins of 1200 percent or more.. 
 Those price gouging, pretentious pharmacies crying wolf, crying that they are not getting enough profit.. and what a ridiculous approach. When you are a senior like me who has learned that if you take your medicine you will next live longer, and who has also learned that in real life we cannot hope to live adequately without medicine and doctors, I also have had plenty of time to shop in too many drug stores too. I thus  have undeniably have noticed the serious, big price differences for the same items in tpp many stores. And I know that my local pharmacy has often a 700 percent price mark up on many of  their goods .. yes kinda of  greedy..  I heard the owner recently  of a pharmacy bragging that he was buying medical accessories for 7 dollars and selling them from 70 dollars in his store.

Generic drug costs can be cut: report – 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

Canadians pay too much for generic drugs: report Vancouver Sun

Reforms will make drugs more affordable Standard Freeholder

Canada NewsWire (press release) – Irish Times – Irish Health – Irish Independent

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. 

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. 


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.

  Mon May 3, 7:57 PM CALGARY (CBC) – An appointee to an Alberta advisory committee on health has stepped down following revelations she is a registered lobbyist for drug company, Eli Lilly.  On April 29, the province announced the start of consultation on the province’s new Alberta Health Act and named the nine advisory committee members who would assist the chairman, Fred Horne, a Edmonton Progressive Conservative MLA. In the news release, Patricia Bayne was identified as a “community member” but did not disclose that she is the senior manager for policy and government affairs with Eli Lilly. Last Thursday, the Alberta NDP announced it had also found Bayne’s name on the province’s lobbyist website. On Monday, the party took credit for forcing her to resign. Mason called the government “deceptive” for not disclosing Bayne’s affiliation and said her inclusion was part of a push to privatize the province’s health care system. Bayne was also a member of the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Health last fall.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: