Thursday, August 06, 2009

Ontario’s law curbing the cost of generic drugs sparks changes

From CMAJ:
Ontario shook up the world of generic drug pricing across the country 3 years ago when it passed Bill 102, the Transparent Drug System for Patients Act.

In turn, the executive officer of Ontario’s $4-billion-a-year drug benefit plan saw her own life disrupted.

In late April, Helen Stevenson was flanked by plainclothes Ontario Provincial Police bodyguards when she delivered a speech to IMS Health Canada. It was the day after the province announced a series of legal actions and imposed penalties totaling $33.8 million in a crackdown on violations of the Act.

Stevenson confirms that her need for security continues because of threats made in connection with her job.

For complicated reasons, Canadian prices for generic drugs — copies of brand-name drugs which have lost patent protection — are among the highest in the world (see Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, Non-Patented Prescription Drug Prices Reporting, 2006.) ...more

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