Ontario Fights back against High Cost of Generic Drugs – Ends Pharmacy Rebates from Drug Companies – Cornwall Ontario – April 8, 2010

Ontario Fights back against High Cost of Generic Drugs – Ends Pharmacy Rebates from Drug Companies – Cornwall Ontario – April 8, 2010

Cornwall ON – Good news for Ontario residents as the Liberal Government is attacking the hidden cost of generic drugs in restricting the drug companies from giving rebates to pharmacies; a practice that inflated the cost of drugs in the Province.

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When Ontario made an initial, tentative step to rein in rebates and cut generic prices in 2006, it sparked a firestorm of opposition from pharmacies, whose message of dire consequences dominated media coverage. As it turned out, the industry has thrived, with 140 more stores now than before the changes. The drugstore trade groups have this time hired high-profile lobby and public relations firms to help press their case.

We used bold type for the last sentence.   The drug lobby hired HIGH PROFILE LOBBY & PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRMS.

Hope most of you got that.    Do you the taxpayer get to have a lobby group fight for you to pay less taxes to support these types of practices?  Nope.

The problem with our medical system is that almost every group at the table seems to have a voice except those that pay the ticket price; you and I.

Partisan politics apart; good for the government for taking a step forward in the fight against spiraling medical costs.

What do you think Ontario?   You can post your comments below.

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Darryl
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Darryl

The high cost of medicines can be a burden for many who pay out of pocket, unlike doctor visits which are billed directly to the government and are paid for by taxes. Unfortunately, the provincial government cannot run the system any more efficiently as evidenced by the over $1 billion wasted on e-health and the $39 a call they pay for tele-health, all coming from taxpayer pockets. To ensure patient care and a sustainable system of pharmacy, the government should be working with pharmacists. The facebook groups Ontario Community Pharmacies, and Say No to drug vending machines and Yes to… Read more »

Donny
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Donny

Ya, so you think this is a good thing, that once again the government has stepped in and messed with the system. My wife took a course threw the government to become a pharmacie tech, (on our tax dollar).just 3 years ago. Now she was told today that in 3 months she will not have a job. These kick backs that the drugstores were getting for putting medications on their shelves. Were paying to have home delivery, blisterpacks, breaks on dispensing fees, etc. Just remember people, nothing is free in life. And once again our tax dollar will pay for… Read more »

EN
Guest
EN

Documents has been been presented to the Ontario government showing the cost of dipensing a prescription (not including any profits) is $13.74. The government presented their own figures and said “No, it costs only $12.49”. My question why is the governmentpaying $7.00 for the past 20 years & with their new Reform increasing it to $8.00 only. The government knows that the Professional Allowances are the main source for SMALL INDEPENDENT PHARMACIES to remain viable due to the Funding Gap created by the Ontario government over 20 years. Allowances filled that gap with a big portion going to patient care… Read more »

Mike
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Mike

First, these rebates, called professional allowances, are not hidden. They are transparent and reported to the government. They are controlled by the government to ensure they are spent on direct patient care. Eliminate the allowances, you eliminate that level of care. Period. It is a health care spending cut. Patient’s will be impacted from these cuts, plain and simple. The government reported that 70% of allowances were spent on labour. Well, they should do the math – cut the allowances, you cut labour. Cut labour, you cut access to a pharmacist. Without that access, you impact care. This isn’t a… Read more »

admin
Admin

Hi Mike,

Can you please point out which services it is that these Pharmacies provide that are to be cut please?

Thanks

Mike
Guest
Mike

-Free Delivery (important to seniors) -Comliance packaging that makes managing medications easier, and delays admittance to long-term care facilities -Clinic days, where pharmacists evaluate patients disease states, medication profile and make suggestions to improve care -Over-the-counter medication recommendation -Prescription medication counselling -Numerous phone calls from patients that save government $$ by avoiding emergency room visits or telehealth calls (which average $39 a call by the way) -Advancing medications when patients have no repeats and can’t see their doctor – saves a trip to an after-hours clinic to get a new prescription -faxing the physician for patient repeats, which saves $$… Read more »

admin
Admin

Mike most of those services are normal services and have been for generations. Are you sure you aren’t a pharmacist or an lobbyist of some sort? Are you suggesting that some pharmacists won’t provide advice or cause discomfort and stress to patients because they won’t be able to get kick backs from drug companies anymore?

Mike
Guest
Mike

I am a pharmacist. And I am saying pharmacies will not be able to provide these services because there will not be ample enough funding to afford these services. Quick pharmacy economics: Cost to prepare a prescription – $13.80 Average reimbursement from Ontario Drug Benefits – $8.70 What this means is, on average, everytime a prescription is filled for an Ontario Drug Benefit patient, the pharmacy loses $5. That, my friend, is not a good business model. The government has been so gracious to give us a $0.56 raise in dispensing fees in the last 20 years. But at the… Read more »

tak
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tak

Admin..How many times does the average senior have to visit the doctor to get repeat medications that they have been taking for years. That costs the system an extra $35 a visit. The abuse of health care is really wide spread. Pharmacist have had to rely on generic rebates in order to provide the services they do. You do the math the average prescription rate is approx. $10. Pharmacies are open 12 hours a day- approximately 75 hours a week . The average pharmacy may do 100-150 prescriptions. Rent in most places cost $5,000 per month – this is an… Read more »

Chad
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Chad

Hey admin, please don’t accuse others off the bat if you’re going to invite commentary. “Normal services” are dictated by the business environment. I’m surprised you’re arguing against that. Pharmacies are not mandated to provide compliance packages, free deliveries, etc. Shoppers’ share price plunged 10% today. Do you think they’re going to watch their profit disappear lying down as their investors panick? No, they’re going to have to compensate by either raising prices somewhere else via dispensing fees or mark-ups, and/or cut expenses by firing employees, cutting store hours, and cutting services. That includes “normal” services, and that also means… Read more »

admin
Admin

Hi Chad, I didn’t accuse the poster. I asked a question and I did that because we have a policy of disclosure on this site. IE If someone simply is expressing an opinion they can stay anonymous; but if they are a black op for lobby group or for a party to a story, or member of the media they have to disclose. There already is enough manipulation of the media in this world. I’m sure there are issues for pharmacies. While this isn’t a perfect analogy I’m about to use I’m still going to suggest it. If you stopped… Read more »

admin
Admin

Hi Mike,

Thank you for clarifying that you are a Pharmacist. Your comments are most welcome. We have a disclosure policy here at The Cornwall Free News and we simply try to enforce that for the integrity of debate and conversation.

email us at info@cornwallfreenews.com as we are looking at doing a radio segment on this issue. You bring up some very interesting points.

Eric
Guest
Eric

I do not understand how this rebate thing works fully, because I am just joe taxpayer and a grad of the Ontario education system. If the rebate is not given from the drug company, will the drug not cost less?
With the rebate taken out of the cost, the drug should cost less.

Some drug plans seem to be going to fixed maximums, and the dispensing fee stated above is above mine, so my company does not want us to go where fees are higher. This is another issue.

Eric
Guest
Eric

Just a note on the delivery service. Seems to me that you can get beer delivered for a fee, so this may be a service someone could start up. A Provincial make work programs Ministry will need to be started, licenses issued, Inspectors hired, training programs etc. LOL

James
Guest
James

Do pharmacies make $ profit on the medications they sell (generic or brand name)? I was under the impression that Ontario provided for a 20% mark up on medications in addition to the dispensing fees (please correct me if I’m incorrect).

Do brand name pharma’s provide this “professional allowance”? Would like more information about this issue.

admin
Admin

Hi James,

I spoke with a few pharmacists today and they do in fact make a mark up on prescriptions, but the numbers bandied were nowhere near 20%. It all adds up, but then so do the labour costs as well.

We’re going to be doing a segment on this topic on Seawayradio.com next week and I’m already working on lining up some guests so if anyone reads this that is in the industry or is a pharmacist feel free to email us via info@cornwallfreenews.com or at 613.361.1755

Jamie Gilcig – The Cornwall Free News & Seawayradio.com

Chad
Guest
Chad

Hi admin, thank you for clarifying that. I’m a pharmaceutical chemistry student by the way, so you can choose to take my opinion with a grain of salt or not, but you can also choose to research this issue more before cheering the government’s decision. It’s not black and white. “Here’s a question for you. Say you have generic company number one that makes good quality products, and generic company number two that isn’t as good, but gives pharmacies better kick backs. That’s a slippery slope to me. Generics are generics. They are not “exact” copies of the name brand… Read more »

AK
Guest
AK

Check you facts. The liberal government did hire a consulting firm. Not sure if you’ve ever hear of it. Called Mckinsey Consulting. It’s only the most famous consulting firm in the world.