Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores Response to the Competition Bureau Report on Canadian Generic Drug Sector Study



    TORONTO, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores
agrees with the conclusion of the Competition Bureau's study of the generic
drug sector in Canada that strong competition exists in the supply of many
generic drugs. However, we strongly disagree with the Competition Bureau's
conclusion that the benefits of this competition are not reaching the Canadian
public in the form of lower prices.
    In reality, the rebates - or manufacturer or professional allowances -
keep pharmacies economically viable, able to provide both basic and extended
services that benefit patients, and to invest in pharmacy innovation to
further enhance the practice, including new technology and services. These
services include health promotion and disease prevention programs such as
education clinics for management of diabetes, asthma and hypertension,
medication therapy management, flu shot clinics and home delivery to those in
need.
    Reimbursement by public and private payers of pharmacy services does not
cover the costs of providing those services, and that has been the case for
more than a decade. For example, the professional fee for pharmacies in
Ontario paid by the public drug plan did not increase significantly for 16
years, and tracked well below the CPI. Across the country, the professional
fee paid by the public drug plans does not cover the cost of providing the
service, much less provide for a reasonable margin.
    Rebates, or "allowances", from generic manufacturers to community
pharmacies are part of a normal and healthy competitive market dynamic and
they have subsidized the costs of providing pharmaceutical services and saved
governments and private payers from having to fully fund community-based
pharmaceutical services.
    The Bureau's media release accompanying the report states that Canadians
deserve to reap the benefits of the competition in the generic drug market and
says that their study helps to explain why they are not. We are disappointed
that the Bureau has failed to "connect the dots" with the information they
were provided and tell the full story of how consumers and public and private
payers already are benefiting greatly as a result of the competitive
marketplace for both generic drug manufacturers and also community pharmacy
retailers.

    CACDS is the national association that represents the community chain
pharmacy industry in Canada. The twenty-five members of CACDS are traditional
chain drug stores, grocery chains and mass merchandisers with pharmacies.
Together, CACDS members operate more than 5,800 stores that dispense 78 per
cent of the nation's prescriptions each year.
    CACDS members employ almost 100,000 Canadians, including 80 per cent of
the pharmacists practicing in community. Its 182 Associate Members represent
all supply categories and services in the retail pharmacy industry, including
pharmaceuticals, health and wellness products, self-care medications, and
other consumer products.





For further information:

For further information: Nancy Bagworth, Director, Communication,
Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, (416) 226-9100 ext. 225, (416)
578-0709 cell, nbagworth@cacds.com


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