TORONTO, March 11, 2013 /CNW/ - The following is a statement by Jim Keon, President of the Canadian
Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA), regarding the Alberta
government's announced plans for further cuts to generic prescription
"The massive and indiscriminate cuts to reimbursed prices of generic
pharmaceutical products announced by the Government of Alberta in its
March 7, 2013 budget are wholly unacceptable to Canada's generic
pharmaceutical manufacturers and risk patient access to high-quality,
affordable prescription medicines.
These across-the-board cuts represent a betrayal of our industry and
were announced without consultation, or prior notice to, generic
pharmaceutical manufacturers, community pharmacy or other key
stakeholders in the pharmaceutical supply chain. The Alberta government
must open collaborative discussions with stakeholders immediately to
ensure any changes are made in the best interest of patients.
The slashing of generic prices further jeopardizes the supply of
cost-saving medicines for Albertans. In the face of these dramatic cuts
to reimbursed prices, our industry plans to contact Health Canada to
inform them of generic pharmaceutical products that may no longer be
Along with threatening the current drug supply, these dramatic cuts to
generic drug prices in Canada will result in fewer cost-saving generic
drugs coming to market resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in
lost savings to the health-care system. As a result, the Alberta
government and other payers will end up paying the full cost of the
higher-priced brand-name equivalents.
Along with our partners in the pharmacy, pharmacist and pharmaceutical
distribution sectors, CGPA has been working with provincial and
territorial governments to develop proposals that would provide
significant savings to Canada's health-care system today and well into
the future. The Alberta government blind-sided our industry and our
partners by slashing generic drug prices with no consultation or
warning while at the same time acting as a co-lead of a pan-Canadian
process to achieve efficiencies and savings.
We call on the Government of Alberta to abandon this ill-conceived
course of action and, instead, return to multi-stakeholder initiatives
that will improve access to affordable health care.
Rather than tackle meaningful reforms to save health-care dollars
through more effective use of generic prescription medicines such as:
increasing generic drug utilization to levels in jurisdictions such as
the United States, providing incentives for generic drug firms to
challenge invalid or non-infringed drug patents, and ensuring new
generic drugs are added to the government's drug plan formulary quickly
and efficiently- the government chose to add little value to patients.
Ending government waste and duplication would provide significant
savings opportunities with no adverse impact on Alberta patients.
For example, if the Government of Alberta had added generic versions of
top-selling cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor to its drug plan
formulary as quickly as the Government of British Columbia, it would
have saved Alberta taxpayers $1.5 million dollars in 2012 on just this
one prescription medicine alone.
In 2012, generic drugs filled fully 64 percent of all prescriptions in
Alberta, yet accounted for only 30 percent of all prescription drug
spending. Generic prescription medicines represent less than 3 percent
of all health-care spending in Canada. Clearly, generic drugs are
already providing excellent value for Albertans."
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 in Canada. Generic
drugs are dispensed to more than 63 per cent of all prescriptions but
account for only 24 percent of the $22-billion Canadians spend annually
on prescription medicines.
SOURCE: Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association
For further information:
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA)
Tel: (416) 223-2333
Mobile: (647) 274-3379