Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cleverer drug buying could save $800M a year, competition czar says

From the Toronto Star:
Canadian taxpayers, consumers and business could save up to $800 million a year if private and public sector plans changed the way they paid for generic drugs, Canada's consumer watchdog says.

Both the private sector and governments could start now using tools that encourage pharmacies to compete more aggressively for their business and ensure they pass on millions in savings they receive from generic drug makers, the competition bureau said.

Such strategies could include using more mail-order pharmacies, shopping around for the lowest drug-dispensing fees and negotiating group rates from preferred pharmacists, federal competition commissioner Sheridan Scott said in prepared notes for a speech to be delivered today.

"We believe Canadians deserve a health system that is safe and effective, but also delivers the maximum possible value to Canadians," Scott said in the notes.

The potential savings from more competitive pricing could climb to over $1 billion a year in coming years as several blockbuster patent drugs lose their patent protection, the federal competition bureau also said in a report issued today. ...more

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