Ontario Takes Additional Legal Action In Drug Purchasing Scheme

    Part of "Drug Purchasing" Scheme Revealed in April

    TORONTO, May 14 /CNW/ -


    Ontario is taking legal action against more pharmacies and wholesalers
that have been involved in a scheme where drug products were being sold
several times.
    The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Ontario Public Drug Programs
conducted audits at pharmacies, generic manufacturers and wholesalers after
finding discrepancies in the reporting of professional allowances paid and
received. Professional allowances are monies generic drug manufacturers pay
pharmacies for buying their prescription drug products.

    The Ontario government:

    -   Has laid further provincial offence charges for providing false or
        incomplete information or obstructing an inspector - against another
        wholesaler and individual
    -   Has put another pharmacy on notice that their pharmacy subscription
        agreements - which allows it to work within the Ontario Public Drug
        Programs - may be terminated and suspension orders issued
    -   Is issuing demand letters that require three pharmacy groups to
        provide information on professional allowances (these may be followed
        by full-scale audits)

    In April, the government took enforcement actions against a number of
pharmacies, generic manufacturers and wholesalers. Further audits are ongoing.


    -   Through changes made by Bill 102 to the legislation that governs
        Ontario's publicly funded drug programs, the government is improving
        patient access to prescription drugs, ensuring better value for money
        spent on prescription drugs, strengthening the accountability within
        the drug system, and ensuring that pharmacists are valued and
        compensated for the important services they provide.

    -   This legislation, the Transparent Drug System for Patients Act, 2006,
        made changes to the Ontario Drug Benefit Act (ODBA) and the Drug
        Interchangeability and dispensing Fee Act (DIDFA).

    -   Under the Ontario Drug Benefit Act and the Drug Interchangeability
        and Dispensing Fee Act:

        -  Drug manufacturers are required to report to the government, on a
           biannual basis, the amount of professional allowances paid out to

        -  Pharmacies are required to report the amount of professional
           allowances they have received.

        -  Pharmacies are required to report on how professional allowances
           are spent, with the requirement that they must be used for direct
           patient care.

        -  Professional allowances are capped at 20 per cent for the Ontario
           Drug Benefit plan (ODB) market.

        -  There is no cap for the private market, however, as with the ODB
           market, these allowances must be used for activities outlined in
           the regulations.


    Read more about the enforcement actions

    Read about the April announcement

    Read about Ontario Public Drug Programs

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Andrew Morrison, Ministry of Health and
Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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