Canadians Missing Out on $750-Million in Annual Rx Drug Savings

    Gap between use of lower-cost generics in US and Canada widens to nearly

    TORONTO, March 26 /CNW/ - Canadians could save approximately $750-million
on the cost of prescription medicines in the first year alone if the use of
generic drugs increased to levels in the United Sates, the Canadian Generic
Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) said today following the release of 2007
Canadian prescription drug sales information by IMS Health Canada.
    The gap in Canadian generic prescribing practices compared to the United
States is staggering. Lower-cost generic drugs filled 48 percent of all
prescriptions in Canada in 2007, compared to 67 percent in the United States.
This 19 percent gap is the largest ever recorded and represents an increase of
three percent compared to 2006 levels.
    "Canadian governments, employers that sponsor drug plans for their
employees, and all Canadians are missing out on important savings that can be
realized by increasing their use of lower-cost generic medicines," said Jim
Keon, President of CGPA. "Increasing the use of lower-cost generic medicines
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."
    Data from by IMS Health, the world leader in prescription drug sales
information, shows that generic drugs were dispensed to fill 48 percent of all
prescriptions in Canada in 2007 yet accounted for only 20.7 percent of the
$19-billion spent on prescription medicines. "Generic drugs make an important
contribution to the Canadian health-care system, and the IMS Health data
confirms that generic drugs provide excellent value for money in Canada," said
    The sales figures released today from IMS Health also show that sales of
generic pharmaceutical products increased by 14.0 percent in 2007.
    Keon said increasing the use of lower-cost generic medicines is good for
the health-care system and good for Canada's economy. "Canada's generic
pharmaceutical industry employs more than 10,500 Canadians in highly-skilled
jobs. And unlike brand-name drugs, the vast majority of generic drugs sold in
Canada are manufactured 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 48 per cent of all
prescriptions but account for only 20.7 per cent of the $19-billion Canadians
spend annually on prescription medicines.

For further information:

For further information: Jeff Connell, Director of Public Affairs,
Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA), Tel: (416) 223-2333, Cell:
(647) 274-3379, Email:, Website:

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