Challenge is for Canadian private and public payers to increase use of
TORONTO, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - The release of 2011 Canadian prescription
drug sales information by IMS Brogan shows that generic prescription
medicines offer greater value than ever before for Canadians, Jim Keon,
President of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA),
Generic prescription medicines were dispensed to fill more than 60
percent of all prescriptions in Canada, yet accounted for less than 25
percent of the $22-billion Canadians spent on prescription drugs in
2011. In Canada, the average price of a brand-name prescription is
$73.76, while the average price of a generic prescription is only
$25.04. It is estimated that the use of generic medicines saved
Canada's health-care system more than $8-billion in 2011 alone.
"As these figures highlight, generic prescription medicines are
providing excellent value for Canadians and those savings are
increasing," Keon said. "As generic companies invest in the R&D and
litigation required to bring new cost-savings products to market and as
retail prices come down, the next step for ensuring the ongoing
sustainability of public and private drug benefit plans in Canada is to
increase the use of cost-saving generic equivalents."
It is estimated that for every one percent increase in generic drug
utilization in Canada, Canadians save an additional $262-million.
Private sector payers in Canada save an additional $140-million for
every one percent increase in their use of generic drugs.
In the United States, generic drugs are dispensed to fill fully 80
percent of all prescriptions. If generic utilization in Canada was
equal to US levels, Canadians would have saved up to an additional
$3-billion in 2011.
Fully eight of the 10 top-selling generic drugs in Canada came to market
through generic drug companies challenging patents which the Canadian
courts determined were invalid or non-infringed. This litigation by
generic drug companies saved Canadians an additional $33-billion.
Keon also cautioned that savings achieved through new generic product
launches and provincial drug reforms could be wiped out by proposals
from the European Union (EU), put forward on behalf of brand-name drug
companies as part of negotiations for a comprehensive economic and
trade agreement (CETA), to prolong periods of market exclusivity for
brand-name drugs in Canada. It is estimated that these proposals will
delay the availability of low-priced generic medicines for an average
of 3.5 years, at an annual cost to the Canadian health-care system of
$2.8 billion annually.
"The EU proposals for CETA will erect barriers to trade for the generic
pharmaceutical industry, which today exports more than 40 percent of
Canadian production to the United States and more than 100 other
countries," said Keon. "These EU proposals will simply increase profits
for brand-name drug companies at the expense of Canada's health-care
system, and that is why they are strongly opposed by provincial
governments, private health insurers and others who pay for drugs."
About the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association
The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) represents
Canada's generic pharmaceutical industry. The industry plays an
important role in controlling health-care costs in Canada. Generic
drugs are dispensed to more than 60 per cent of all prescriptions but
account for only less than 26 percent of the $22-billion Canadians
spend annually on prescription medicines.
SOURCE Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association
For further information:
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA)
Tel: (416) 223-2333
Mobile: (647) 274-3379