Statement from the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association Regarding
British Columbia Announcement on Generic Drug Pricing

VANCOUVER, July 9 /CNW/ - The following is a statement by Jim Keon, President of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA), regarding today's announcement by the Honourable Kevin Falcon, Minister of Health Services, regarding generic drug pricing:

"The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) congratulates the Government of British Columbia on reaching an agreement with the pharmacy community on new reimbursement arrangements for pharmacists who dispense generic prescription medicines.

We have appreciated the government's consultations with the generic pharmaceutical industry during the past two years, as was recommended by the 2008 Report of the Pharmaceutical Task Force.

The government recognizes that prices paid for generic pharmaceutical products have included significant support for the services BC's community pharmacies provide to their patients. That is why it is important that today's announcement includes increased direct support for pharmacy services.

We also support the government's steps to ensure the new pricing regime for generic drugs applies equally to all BC residents, whether they are covered by public or employee sponsored drug benefit plans, or pay directly for their prescription medicines. While generic drugs are dispensed to fill fully 68 percent of prescriptions for PharmaCare, they are used to fill only 51 percent of prescriptions in the private sector market in BC. Now that prices are being reduced, private payers in BC must examine their drug benefit plans to determine why their use of generics is so low and what steps can be taken to increase generic drug use and the related savings.

Our industry looks forward to working with the Government of British Columbia and our partners in the pharmacy community to ensure British Columbia residents achieve the full benefit of lower-cost generic prescription medicines.

There are a number of important issues that must still be resolved, including: faster provincial approval of lower-cost generic drugs, flexibility in the new pricing rules so that generic drugs that are costly to develop and produce remain available, and an incentive period to ensure that generic drug makers can continue to undertake the significant costs and risks to challenge invalid or non-infringed patents in order to bring new cost-saving generic drugs to market as quickly as possible."

About the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association

The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) represents Canada's generic pharmaceutical industry. The industry plays an important role in controlling health-care costs. Generic drugs are dispensed to fill 55 per cent of all prescriptions in Canada but account for only 24 per cent of the $22-billion Canadians spend annually on prescription medicines.

SOURCE Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association

For further information: For further information: Jeff Connell, Director of Public Affairs, Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA), Tel: (416) 223-2333, Mobile: (647) 274-3379, Email: jeff@canadiangenerics.ca, Website: www.canadiangenerics.ca


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