Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Generic drugs, pharmacies and Ontario back in the news

More news on the Ontario government's ongoing fight with pharmacies to lower the cost of generic drugs. Four articles in today's Globe (three first section, one in the business section)

Shoppers holds a publicity stunt in Health Minister Deb Matthews' riding. Premier McGuinty is not impressed.

Adam Radwanski suggests that the Ontario government has already planned a showy "concession" that it can use to convince the public it is the reasonable party here (although the pharmacies aren't dong a good job of forcing the government to use it)

John Ibbitson writes that the other provinces are quietly cheering Ontario on, and also suggests a national formulary to replace the ten provincial formularies (on the basis that one big formulary will have superior negotiating clout with the drug companies).

An article from the business section doesn't seem to be online, but connects the debate to various drugs coming off patent in the next few years, notes that Ontario business could save as much as $100 per employee as a result, and that the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association came out in favour of the changes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ontario provincial government has over $1 billion for e-health consultant friends, but only cuts for health care:

I sympathize with those suffering from health conditions and those who pay out of pocket for their medicines. The Ontario provincial government wasted over $1 billion of our tax dollars paid to consultants with government ties in the e-health scandal, and now wants to cut funding for patient care. These changes may lead to the elimination of free delivery and higher drug costs to patients in the form of higher co-payments which would no longer be waived. The low income senior would have to pay $2 per prescription, a cost many pharmacies waive, and pay for delivery. These cuts have the potential to affect the most vulnerable in our community. The planned funding cuts may lead to staff lay offs, pharmacy closures disproportionately affecting the small independent community pharmacy, reduced operating hours, fewer health clinics such as bone density and cholesterol testing, longer wait times for prescriptions and health advice, and increased costs to the health care system with more emergency room visits for people without timely advice from a family doctor or pharmacist. Your pharmacist, without appointment or charge to the public or taxpayer, provides health advice, unlike tele-health which bills $39 per call to the taxpayer. Pharmacists want to work with the government to find solutions, but cannot accept cuts which will hurt patient care and our community