"Window of opportunity" for employers as changes to Ontario Drug system come
into force

Previously announced broad amendments aimed at lowering price of generic drugs, a more transparent and accountable system, and funding more patient services delivered by pharmacists

TORONTO, July 5 /CNW/ - Aon Consulting Canada issued a special report (www.aon.ca/pubs/onpharmaupdate.pdf) in advance of broad changes to the Ontario Drug system which were announced earlier in April, finalized in June by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and came into effect July 1. Details of key changes are highlighted on the Aon report.

With the recent patent expiry of Lipitor, and the anticipated patent expiry of several other highly utilized prescription drugs over the next 12-24 months, these regulatory changes are timely for employers.

Reduction of generic drug prices to 50% as of July 1, 2010 and ultimately to 25% of brand name by April 1, 2012 mean incremental savings for employers may be significant in the years ahead.

"What is less clear is how these changes will affect plan members and uninsured Ontarians given that dispensing fees and drug mark-ups remain unregulated in the private sector. The $150M to fund MedsCheck, transition fees, and rural pharmacy services does not offset the net revenue loss for most Pharmacies," notes Martin Chung, vice-president at Aon Consulting.

While the new regulatory changes will generate appreciable savings and blunt, near-term drug plan inflationary pressures for many employers, demographic factors and new (and often expensive) drugs in the pipeline suggest long-term inflationary trends to remain significant.

A "window of opportunity" exists for employers to thoughtfully reinvest cost savings from this regulatory change into integrated employee wellness solutions that support balancing the need for sustainable, long-term cost mitigation with the increasing need to maintain engaged and healthy employees.

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.

About Aon Consulting

Aon Consulting is among the top global human capital consulting firms, with more than 6,300 professionals in 229 offices worldwide. The firm works with organizations to improve business performance and shape the workplace of the future through employee benefits, talent management and rewards strategies and solutions. Aon Consulting was named the best employee benefit consulting firm by the readers of Business Insurance magazine in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. For more information on Aon Consulting, please visit http://www.aon.com/human-capital-consulting.

About Aon

Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human capital consulting. Through its more than 36,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon readily delivers distinctive client value via innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. Aon's industry-leading global resources and technical expertise are delivered locally through more than 500 offices in more than 120 countries. Named the world's best broker by Euromoney magazine's 2008 and 2009 Insurance Survey, Aon also ranked highest on Business Insurance's listing of the world's largest insurance brokers based on commercial retail, wholesale, reinsurance and personal lines brokerage revenues in 2008 and 2009. A.M. Best deemed Aon the number one insurance broker based on brokerage revenues in 2007, 2008, and 2009, and Aon was voted best insurance intermediary, best reinsurance intermediary and best employee benefits consulting firm in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by the readers of Business Insurance. For more information on Aon, log onto http://www.aon.com.


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

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