Canadian’s Pay Too Much For Prescription Generic Drugs

1263 words - 5 pages

Canadian’s pay too much for prescription generic drugs, which are more in abundance and competitive, over brand name drugs. Generic drug prices are inflated; their rates are set at high levels, by the provinces. Canada has its own drug makers, which produce generic drugs to international countries. Generic drugs are cheaper, the time required to develop a generic is shorter and the costs are much lower to produce, than that of the brand name medicine. Ontario’s Drug Benefit Program prevents consumers, from buying drugs at competitive rates. Our Provincial Government sets rates that are fixed, for Generic Drugs the rate is about 25% of the cost of brand name drugs. Pharmacies can charge the maximum price allowed, under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program. As a result, the consumer does not benefit from any price discounts, produced by competing generic drug companies, the pharmacies keep these profits. In Canada, generic drug manufacturers are competing on prices, by offering retail pharmacies bulk rebates, in exchange for full distribution rights. Generic pharmaceuticals save Canada’s Health Care system money. They can sell their medications for a lower price, than their brand name counterparts and help make the heath system more sustainable. The consumer could benefit and save money through a market sales deal, that pharmacies receive but, don’t because the Provincial Government has a fixed price, on the costs of generic drugs. Provincial Governments should not interfere with prescription drug markets, with inefficient reimbursement schemes and price regulations. (Skinner, 2010), (Connell, 2010)

Health Canada realizes that generic drug prices are too high; they released a discussion paper called SECOR recently, to address possible reforms, to the pricing and distribution of generic drugs. “Canadians pay some of the highest prices in the world for generic drugs,” said John G. Abbot, CEO, and Health Council of Canada. (Morrison, 2010) John G Abbot hopes that the paper they released titled; “Generic Drug Pricing and Access in Canada: What are the Implications?” helps, policy makers and people across the country, make changes to the cost of generic drugs, for both public and private plans. Government pricing policies produced a system, which does not benefit consumers. Currently the way the government sets their prices, leaves huge profits for manufacturers, distributors and retailers. The government could come up with pricing policies, which will help save taxpayers and private sector employer’s money. The Health Council of Canada is encouraged to tackle generic prices. In the future the new policies could save the consumer lots of money. (Morrison, 2010), (Canadian Healthcare Network Staff, 2010)

The quality of generic drugs contains the same identical ingredients, to its brand name. Technically every pharmaceutical product has three names; a chemical name, a generic name and a brand name. Chemical names, are mainly used by chemist but,...

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