OTTAWA, Jan. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Premiers are moving forward on achieving
better value for generic drugs. It is the first step toward a more
strategic, comprehensive, and coordinated approach to pharmaceutical
management in Canada.
Provinces and territories are working together through a coordinated
approach to price setting for six widely-used generic drugs, which
represent approximately 20 per cent of the publicly funded spending on
generic drugs in Canada. This joint approach will leverage combined
purchasing power to obtain the lowest generic prices achieved to date
in Canada, and consistent with the price for these drugs on the
It is expected that when fully implemented, this initiative could
produce savings of up to $100 million for provincial and territorial
The announcement is in response to the direction Premiers provided to
the Health Care Innovation Working Group at the July 2012 meeting of
the Council of the Federation, to move forward with an initiative to
achieve better prices for generic drugs. This initiative builds on work
that is underway to obtain better value on brand name pharmaceuticals.
The Working Group is composed of provincial and territorial Ministers
of Health and led by Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Prince Edward
Island Premier Robert Ghiz.
Participating provinces and territories have agreed to establish a price
point for six of the most common generic drugs at 18 per cent of the
equivalent brand name drug. Currently, individual provinces and
territories pay between 25 and 40 per cent of brand name prices. The
new prices are to be in effect by April 1, 2013.
"Drug plan costs are increasing for all Canadians," Wall said. "In
recent years the generic drug industry has worked with provincial and
territorial drug plans to lower generic drug prices in Canada and with
today's announcement, we will realize savings that will ensure more
dollars for provincial health care systems across Canada."
"We understand the importance of realizing better value for the
important drugs people rely on." Ghiz said. "This is just a starting
point - we are committed to continuing to work together on a long-term
strategy to further improve value for Canadians."
The six generic drugs to be priced at 18 per cent of brand are:
Atorvastatin - used to treat high cholesterol
Ramipril - used to treat blood pressure and other cardiovascular
Venlafaxine - used to treat depression and other mental health
Amlodipine - used to treat high blood pressure and angina
Omeprazole - used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal conditions
Rabeprazole - used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal conditions
Provincial and territorial drug plan officials met with representatives
of drug companies, pharmacies, insurance companies, members of the
public and other stakeholders to hear their views. Written submissions
were also considered.
"We heard that a diverse and stable drug supply are key priorities for
provinces and territories, as well as generic drug manufacturers. We
are optimistic that the generic drug manufacturers will view price
setting as a reasonable and fair approach to obtaining lower generic
drug prices for Canadians," Wall said.
"I am pleased our officials had the opportunity to meet with interested
parties, to better inform our decision. We appreciated the diverse
views, and ultimately made our decision based on what we felt would
achieve the best value for Canadians in a timely manner," Ghiz said.
"We look forward to further discussions with industry and interested
parties as we move ahead to explore a broader long-term approach."
Québec is not participating in the generic drug price setting initiative
at this time.
SOURCE: Council of the Federation
For further information:
For further information, contact:
Executive Director, Communications
Office of the Premier
Government of Saskatchewan
(306) 526-8927 (cell.)
Government of Prince Edward Island