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Monday, October 1, 2012

Still overpaying for generic drugs

A new study this week from the UBC Centre for Health Services and Policy Research shows that by international comparison, Canadians are still overpaying for generic drugs. In fact, an editorial by report writer Michael Law draws an analogy between how inflated our generic drug prices are and paying $60 for a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee.

In 2010, our report Generic Drug Pricing and Access in Canada: What are the Implications? found international prices for generic drugs in 10 other developed countries to be 15-77% lower than average Canadian prices. Unfortunately, it appears little has changed.

The report does point out that most provinces are making progress and focusing on reducing generic drug prices for their residents. In June, the premiers agreed to use collective buying power to drive down prices, and last week they assembled to work out the details. This is a positive step and we look forward to the impact this may have.

It’s vitally important that we continue to work to bring prices down so that Canadians can access the medication(s) they need. In 2011, we reported that 23% of sicker Canadians with chronic conditions skipped a dose of medication due to costs (and 12% of the general population did the same). This is unacceptable and has significant repercussions on the well-being of patients, while further burdening the health system.

You can read the full report here.

For more on generic drugs, read these blog posts:

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