Province Announces Plan to Get Fair Drug Prices

first_img July 1: a cap of 45 per cent will be put in place Jan. 1, 2012: the cap will move to 40 per cent July 1, 2012: the cap will be 35 per cent “We’re pleased to see government making changes to make drugs more affordable for seniors and other Nova Scotians,” said Bill VanGorder, president, Group of IX Seniors’ Organizations. “Seniors count on Seniors’ Pharmacare, so these efforts to rein in the program’s costs are extremely important to ensure it remains in place.” “Based on what we heard during consultations and our own research, we developed the best plan for Nova Scotia, a plan that is fair to all,” said Ms. MacDonald. “We are phasing it in to make sure Nova Scotians are able to get the services they count on from pharmacists in their communities.” The proposed act will give the province the power to tender for drugs and report or limit rebates paid to pharmacies by generic drug manufacturers. However, these measures are not part of government’s plan at this time. During consultations in the fall, government heard from more than 16 groups and members of the public. The province also announced it is establishing a Drug Management Policy Unit, which will be part of the Department of Health and Wellness. “Creating the Drug Management Policy Unit meets another of our commitments,” said Ms. MacDonald. “We know better drug prices are only part of the solution for slowing the rapid growth of drug costs. The unit will look at improving access to drugs and making Pharmacare more affordable.” The unit will focus on improving the health of Nova Scotians covered by Pharmacare through better use of drugs and effectively managing drug costs. The fair drug pricing regulations, which support the fair drug pricing plan, will be finalized in June and go into effect July 1. The Fair Drug Pricing Act creates a stand-alone act to oversee the public drug plans, which accounted for about $300 million in spending last year. Eligibility criteria, premiums, deductibles and maximum co-payments for the Pharmacare programs will stay the same this year. For information on the province’s Fair Drug Prices plan, visit www.gov.ns.ca/health/fairdrugprices . Nova Scotians covered by Pharmacare will soon pay lower prices for most generic drugs at the counter as the result of new legislation being introduced today, April 11. The Fair Drug Pricing Act will allow government to regulate the cost of generic drugs under the Pharmacare programs, leading to better drug prices for Nova Scotians covered by Pharmacare and a better deal for taxpayers. “As part of our commitment to make life better for families, we want to ensure Nova Scotians are able to get the drugs they need at a fair price they deserve,” said Minister of Health and Wellness Maureen MacDonald. “This plan will help ensure the Pharmacare programs, which provide critical help with drug costs to 220,000 Nova Scotians, remain sustainable.” Starting July 1, a cap will be set on the price of generic drugs, based on the price of equivalent brand drugs under the Pharmacare programs, and will be phased in over one year as follows: last_img