Sweeping changes to Ontario Drug Plan a boon to employers

Substantial cost savings present opportune time for employers to take a closer look at maximizing opportunities in wellness programs

TORONTO, April 9 /CNW/ - Aon Consulting Canada today issued a special report (http://www.aon.ca/pubs/rdy/apr-sp-ready.pdf) in light of sweeping changes announced on April 7 by Ontario's Health Minister, the most significant of which involves the regulation of generic drug prices being extended to the private sector and having significant impact to employer-sponsored drug plans.

When Bill 102 (Transparent Drug System for Patients Act, 2006) was initially passed, the disparate differences in pharmaceutical reimbursements between the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program and employer-sponsored drug plans drew wide criticism and concern.

The impact of pending regulatory changes to employer-sponsored drug plans includes:

    -   Generic drug price being reduced by more than 50 per cent, to
        25 per cent of the cost of the original brand name drug over the next
        three years
    -   Unlimited professional allowances received by pharmacies from
        manufacturers will be limited to 50 per cent with further reduction
        to zero by April 1, 2013
    -   Additional $100-million for MedsCheck Program for all Ontarians

"While the government desires to have changes in effect as soon as possible, it remains unclear at this point what the implementation timeframe will be at the pharmacy and insurance carrier level," notes Martin Chung, vice president at Aon Consulting.

"With patents of major brand names, such as Lipitor, expiring in the near future, the legislative change we see today spells substantial, cumulative savings for employers. This presents an ideal opportunity to explore how to best maximize these savings within an integrated approach to cost management via innovative, holistic, value for money (return) based employee wellness programs." (http://www.aon.ca/pubs/RDY/10/apr/April2010Ready.pdf)

About Aon Consulting Canada

Aon Consulting is one of Canada's leading integrated human capital consulting and outsourcing firms. Our more than 800 Canadian professionals in 12 offices coast-to-coast offer benefits, talent management and rewards strategies and solutions to help clients attract, retain and develop world-class talent. Driven by inspired and independent thinking, Aon Consulting is committed to delivering innovative and personalized business solutions with tangible value to help clients shape their organization into the workplace of the future. For more information, visit http://aon.ca.


For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Autom Tagsa, (416) 542-5659, autom.tagsa@aon.ca

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