UPDATE: Deal reached to cut drug costs

Ryan Ross
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New plan will save P.E.I. taxpayers $1.2 million

Some generic drugs will soon be a bit cheaper as part of a national price-setting plan.

Some generic drugs will soon be a bit cheaper as part of a national price-setting plan Premier Robert Ghiz announced this afternoon.

The plan will reduce the cost of six generic drugs that represent about 20 per cent of publicly funded generic drug costs in Canada.

Ghiz said the plan will save the P.E.I. government about $1.2 million.

"There will also, of course, be savings for those individuals out there who do not have any plans, they'll be able to see savings as well," he said.

The plan came about through the Health Care Innovation Working Group Ghiz and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall led.

It is expected to save the provinces a combined $100 million.

Each province and territory, except for Quebec, will establish a price for the six most used generic drugs at 18 per cent of the cost for the equivalent brand name drug.

Ghiz said the goal is to implement the new prices by April 1.

The drugs include two that treat high blood pressure, two that treat gastrointestinal conditions, one for depression and mental health conditions, and one to treat high cholesterol.

Ghiz said most generic drugs are priced at about 25-40 per cent of what their brand name versions cost.

He also said the provinces plan to keep working toward lowering the costs of more generic drugs.

"This is a first step in terms of dealing with our drug costs across the country," he said.

The governments are able to set generic drug prices and will take a gradual approach because there is an impact on pharmacies and manufacturers, Ghiz said.

"You can't do everything all at once."

Ghiz said the P.E.I. government will likely use part of the savings for deficit reduction, reinvest part of into the provincial drug formulary and put some of it back into pharmacies to deliver more services.

Opposition health critic James Aylward said the reductions were long overdue but P.E.I. is still one of the last provinces without a catastrophic drug plan even though the government said it was committed to one.

"If it's a commitment that you're serious about let's make it happen," Aylward said.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

 

JUST THE FACTS

The six generic drugs in the plan are:

Atorvastatin, used to treat high cholesterol;

amipril, used to treat blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions;

Venlafaxine, used to treat depression and other mental health conditions;

Amlodipine,used to treat high blood pressure and angina;

Omeprazole, used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal conditions;

Rabeprazole,used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal conditions

 

Organizations: Health Care Innovation Working Group

Geographic location: Canada, Saskatchewan, Quebec

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Recent comments

  • Well, well, well . . .
    January 19, 2013 - 14:40

    Not sure what's what, but I've been issued Atorvastatin for months, nothing new there. What else is mixed up with this story? Also, as a senior I'd like to know when marijuana will be more accessible. The last thing I want is to be wasted all day, but something to take the edge off would be welcome. It just might lower my stress and my trips to the doctor / emergency ward. I'm not kidding, a cuppa Texas Tea would go real nice just about the time Coronation Street rolls around . . .

    • rob
      January 19, 2013 - 16:37

      common names for these drugs lipitor altace effexor moduret losec pantaloc very common drugs

  • Dottie
    January 19, 2013 - 10:22

    First of all I love the title of the article Drug Deal....sounds like Mr. Ghiz is out there with the druggies making deals for people that still can't afford or receive the medication they need because that particular medication is not available to the disabled and people on social services. You might as well stand on the street corner and see if the local dealer has what you need because the Ghiz government doesn't recognize the needs of the poor people.

  • voter
    January 19, 2013 - 07:40

    all drugs are COSTLY to get to market ----if the financial incentive is lowered or removed a lot of EXCELLENT long term medical research will be hindered ---- short term gain here for long term pain ------It would take a lower IQ such as Ghiz' to do this to save a few dollars and make himself look better in the short term !!!This is an affront to venture capital in medical research and more importantly to the long term health of Canadians -- PAY LESS GET LESS --- then just die because medical research has been prostituted

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      January 19, 2013 - 13:09

      Well VOTER, when will people realize that drugs are not the answer to your health problems anyway. At best they give temporary relief. Either you have to take the drug at least daily for the rest of your life. Your precious venture capital should only be spent on cures and not treatments. It seems all that BIG PHARMA wants to do is work on treatments because that is where the profit is. The corporations exist to make money of other people's misery. Alopathic medicine is doomed to fail because their whole approach is wrong. If our government did more to protect us our health care costs would decline. But have no fear because all government wants is more of the same. They are not interested in positive change, they care only about getting re-elected..

  • Trish
    January 19, 2013 - 04:36

    "Save" 100 million, then raise taxes so the gov't gains 100 billion to spend pointlessly on things islanders don't NEED. Hmmmm....the logic is placed where in these decisions?

  • Joe Blow
    January 19, 2013 - 01:48

    Funny how none of those drugs are vital to the people of PEI. They are drugs that are rarely used for anything. Now I see why Ghiz approved them.

  • rob
    January 18, 2013 - 21:08

    no direct savings to the public. pharmacies dont buy drugs from the government

  • Bernie
    January 18, 2013 - 19:01

    Never heard tell of any of these drugs,and I hope I won't have to.

  • Donnie
    January 18, 2013 - 16:19

    Year six of his tenure, appoximately. Things done right; 1.

  • Joe Blow
    January 18, 2013 - 15:39

    Ghiz must be making money off this deal somehow....otherwise he wouldn't have done it. We've seen over the past few years that Ghiz only does things when him, his family members, his government and all their friends personally gain from the decision.....I imagine this is just another one of those cases. Its funny that Ghiz does this all the time, but he still thinks that he's been a great premier dispite the thousands of Islanders that tell him different on a daily basis. The sheer number of Liberal supporters that Ghiz and his government have lost in the past 2 or 3 years should tell ya something!! Can't wait til the NDP are in power and we have a government that will listen to Islanders and do whats best FOR EVERYBODY.....not just a few rich party supporters.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    January 18, 2013 - 15:10

    What is the real agenda here? The real agenda here is to kill off seniors before they make it into chronic care or hospitalization. It is not just to save Islanders money otherwise they could just stop giving money to their buddies and put it into the healthcare system, a drug plan or whatever. Why do I not believe these liars? In the long run the only money being saved is the money being saved due to people dying before their due time thus saving the provinces precious dollars. They are doing the same thing with the free vaccines, targeting the elderly and the very young. The culling of the herd has begun.

    • dan larter
      January 19, 2013 - 09:30

      You are a sick individual that needs help