McGuinty Government Drug Reforms Good for Patients

Plan will provide better access to affordable prescription drugs

QUEEN'S PARK, April 9 /CNW/ - Experts agree that the McGuinty government's proposed prescription drug reforms will provide better access to lower-cost generic drugs for patients, while ensuring fair compensation for pharmacists and supporting access to pharmacy services in rural and under-serviced areas.

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"(The McGuinty government's) announcement is welcome news. It means we'll be able to give our plan members, the education employees of Ontario, access to more drugs and better health services. We're going to use any money we gain from improved generic pricing to maintain or enhance our drug plan and increase our investment in health promotion."

- Vic Medland, President of Group Insurance Services, Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (April 7, 2010)

"Lowering the cost of all prescription drugs is a major priority for our members, regardless of whether they are covered by the Ontario government, private drug plans or paid out of their own pockets. They and all Ontarians will benefit from the direct savings in drug costs and redirection of the public savings from these measures towards more patient services and support of pharmacies in rural and under-serviced regions. We welcome the improvement to affordability and potential for more access to new drugs and will encourage similar measures in the rest of the provinces."

- Susan Eng, Vice-President, Advocacy of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (April 7, 2010)

"We are very pleased with the government's announcement that they are reducing prices for generic drugs across the board, and moving towards equality for all Ontarians."

- Frank Swedlove, President, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (April 7, 2010)

"The Canadian Cancer Society applauds the Ontario government on the changes announced today that will enable greater access to funded drugs in Ontario. The Canadian Cancer Society strongly believes all Ontarians should have access to the cancer drugs they need without financial burden."

- Rick Perciante, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division (April 7, 2010)

"Finally, a government that is willing to take on the drug companies and big pharmacies. This is a gutsy move that is going to reduce the cost of drugs, save jobs and produce better health outcomes."

- Sid Ryan, President, Ontario Federation of Labour (April 7, 2010)

"It took political courage to stare down drug companies and big box pharmacy chains. But the result is savings for taxpayers and members of drug benefit plans, plus better value for patients."

- Sharleen Stewart, President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 Canada (April 7, 2010)

"Front-line registered nurses certainly share the government's concern about the rising costs of pharmaceuticals, which have been consuming a large portion of precious health-care system dollars."

- Linda Haslam-Stroud, President, Ontario Nurses' Association (April 8, 2010)

"Over the past several years, health insurance costs for Ontario's automakers have been one of the fastest rising costs of doing business. The announcement by the Government of Ontario is welcome news for Ontario employers seeking to enhance their competitiveness and manage rapidly rising drug costs within employer-sponsored benefit plans."

- Mark Nantais, President, Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association (April 8, 2010)

"We support the government's policy goals to improve the health of Ontarians through timely access to innovative medicines and vaccines that improve and save lives."

- Russell Williams, President, Rx&D (April 7, 2010)

"We are encouraged to see that improved patient access to affordable medicines is at the heart of these reforms. We applaud the government's focus on reinvesting savings from these reforms into improving access to new medicines which offer new hope to patients who suffer from cancer and other illnesses."

- Hugh O'Neill, President and CEO, sanofi aventis Canada; Chair, Rx&D's Ontario Committee (April 7, 2010)

"The changes to generic drug pricing are long overdue. There is no reason that Canadian generic drug prices should be the highest in the western world."

- Louise Binder, Chair, Canadian Treatment Action Council (April 8, 2010)

"This is definitely a step forward. We hope other provinces and the federal government will take a leaf from Ontario's book and look at the cost they are paying for generic drugs."

- LaVerne Monette, Executive Director, Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Society (April 8, 2010)

"The legislative change we see today spells substantial, cumulative savings for employers. This presents an ideal opportunity to explore how to best maximize these savings within an integrated approach to cost management via innovative, holistic, value for money (return) based employee wellness programs."

- Martin Chung, Vice-President, Aon Consulting (April 9, 2010)

SOURCE Liberal Caucus Service Bureau

For further information: For further information: Kandice Ardiel, kardiel@liberal.ola.org, (416) 325-3714


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