Thursday, May 22, 2008

Generic drug prices inflated, committee reports

From the Vancouver Sun:
Inflated prices on generic prescription drugs mean B.C.'s Pharmacare program and drug consumers are paying hundreds of millions of dollars more for medications than they should be each year, says former auditor-general George Morfitt, a member of a committee asked by the provincial government to identify drug funding and approval reforms.

Recommendations of The Report of the Pharmaceutical Task Force were made public Wednesday.

"Canadian prices [on non-brand name, off-patent drugs] are about 40 per cent too high compared [with] other countries," Morfitt said in an interview, referring to the fact that pharmacies receive a 30- to 40-per-cent rebate on bulk purchases of drugs from manufacturers.

However, they don't bother passing on those savings to consumers and Pharmacare.

"Pharmacare is paying artificially high prices," Morfitt said after the

Health Minister George Abbott said the government accepts all the recommendations of the task force and agrees that while British Columbians spend more than $1 billion annually on pharmaceutical products, there are clearly cost savings which have yet to be attained. ...more

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