Monday, January 25, 2010

Windsor pharmacists decry planned drug rebate ban

From the Windsor Star:
Seniors whose prescriptions are covered by the provincial drug plan could lose perks like one-on-one consultations if the province slashes "professional allowances" -- or cash rebates -- that pharmacists receive from generic drug companies to stock their products.

Local pharmacists are fighting proposed changes to the Ontario Drug Benefit program which they say will slash their revenues and force them to cut back services that seniors and the disabled depend on.

On one side is the Ontario government, which has been arguing for years that "murky" multimillion-dollar agreements between drug manufacturers and pharmacies are inappropriate, wasting health care dollars while gouging the prices of generic drugs.

On the other side are pharmacists who say they don't receive enough government funding and have to rely on rebates from drug makers as their only significant source of revenue.

The crux of the issue is the sale of generic drugs, which are widely prescribed and generally cheaper than brand-name meds. ...more

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