Generic Drug Makers Propose 60% Solution to Rising Rx Drug Costs



    Increasing use of generic drugs to U.S. levels would save $700-million

    TORONTO, March 21 /CNW/ - Canadians could save $700-million on the cost
of prescription medicines in the first year alone if the use of generic drugs
increased to levels in the United States, the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical
Association (CGPA) said today following the release of 2006 Canadian
prescription drug sales information by IMS Health Canada.
    "We are encouraging governments, employers that sponsor drug plans for
their employees, and all Canadians to increase their use of lower-cost generic
medicines to match levels in the United States where generic drugs are
dispensed to fill 63 percent of all prescriptions," said Jim Keon, President
of CGPA.
    Data from by IMS Health, the world leader in prescription drug sales
information, shows that in 2006 generic drugs were dispensed to fill
45 percent of all prescriptions in Canada yet accounted for only 18 percent of
the $18-billion spent on prescription medicines. "This data demonstrates that
generic drugs provide excellent value for money in Canada, but we can do
more," said Keon.
    The sales figures released today from IMS Health also show that sales of
generic pharmaceutical products increased by 13.6 percent in 2006.
    With provincial governments and employers struggling to pay for their
drug benefit plans, the 60 percent solution is an attractive solution for
those who sponsor drug plans and for patients. "Increasing the use of
lower-cost generic equivalents is a far better way to save money on
prescription drugs than cutting benefits or asking patients, particularly
seniors and those on fixed incomes, to pay more for the medicines they need,"
Keon said.
    Keon said that increasing the use of lower-cost generic medicines is not
only good for the health-care system, it is also good for Canada's economy.
"Unlike most brand-name drugs, which are shipped into Canada, the vast
majority of the generic drugs sold in Canada are made right here."

    About the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association

    The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) represents
Canada's generic drug industry - a dynamic group of companies that specialize
in the production of high quality, affordable generic drugs and fine chemicals
and in conducting the clinical trials required for government approval of
generic drugs. The industry plays an important role in controlling health-care
costs in Canada. Generic drugs are dispensed to fill 45 per cent of all
prescriptions but account for less than 18 per cent of the $18-billion
Canadians spend annually on prescription medicines.





For further information:

For further information: Jeff Connell, Director of Public Affairs,
Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, (416) 223-2333, Email:
jeff@canadiangenerics.ca


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