EDMONTON, March 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Yesterday as part of Budget 2013, the
Alberta Government announced plans to reduce generic drug prices from
35% to 18% of brand name drug prices effective May 1, 2013.
Representatives from the Alberta Pharmacists' Association (RxA) and
community pharmacists were shocked when such a dramatic decrease was
announced without consultation of the profession.
Patrick Rurka, a pharmacist from Rimby, responded to government's
announcement by stating "the cuts are so deep and so fast, it will be
impossible for me to react quickly enough to ensure the sustainability
of my pharmacy. My patients and community will be the real losers as
the health services my pharmacy offers will be compromised. The
patients' needs will either be off-loaded to physicians or will be left
RxA is deeply concerned for pharmacy as a profession, as this change
will affect the ability of pharmacists to continue to provide high
quality care to Albertans. The Association has heard from many
pharmacists that they are very concerned for their patients and for the
Affordable drug prices for Albertans is a move that is supported by RxA
as it ensures that Albertans will have access to the drug therapy they
need. Over the course of the past two years, the Association has
supported the Government of Alberta as it decreased generic drug prices
from 75% to the present day 35%. Historically, it has occurred in a
controlled fashion which has allowed pharmacies to make the necessary
adjustments to their practice, unlike the announcement made yesterday.
"Pharmacy has been more than willing to help government achieve their
financial goals. However, I am gravely concerned with the government
process that has recently taken place" said President Byron Bergh of
RxA. "Pharmacists perform an important role by ensuring that Albertans
have access to high quality medications and pharmacy services that
support them in achieving their health goals. The government does not
seem to be aware of the drastic effects it may have on the level of
care pharmacists are able to provide to Albertans."
Traditionally, the revenue earned through generic drugs by pharmacies
has offset the chronic underfunding of pharmacy services by government.
This is significant as pharmacy fees have been unchanged since 2005 and
have only increase $0.52 since 1991.
The Alberta Pharmacists' Association (RxA) promotes the value of
pharmacists in supporting and advancing the health of Albertans.
Advocate and advance the profession
Engage stakeholders about the value of pharmacist services
Advocate for appropriate compensation and recognition of pharmacists'
contribution to healthcare
Inspire excellence in the profession and pharmacist practice
Support members by providing quality services and professional
SOURCE: Alberta Pharmacists' Association
For further information:
For Media Inquiries:
Director of Communications
Alberta Pharmacists' Association