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Alberta is latest province to cut generics prices
April 8th, 2013
EDMONTON, Alberta – The Alberta Pharmacists’ Association (RxA) has blasted plans by the government of Alberta to slash generic drug prices.
As part of Alberta’s 2013 budget, lawmakers agreed to reduce generics prices from 35% of branded drug prices to 18% as of May 1. RxA expressed surprise that the province gave the green light to such a large cut without consulting the businesses most affected by the reduction.
“Pharmacy has been more than willing to help government achieve its financial goals; however, I am gravely concerned with the government process that has recently taken place,” RxA president Byron Bergh says. “Pharmacists perform an important role by ensuring that Albertans have access to high-quality medications and pharmacy services that support them in achieving their health goals. The government does not seem to be aware of the drastic effects it may have on the level of care pharmacists are able to provide to Albertans.”
The new cuts come on top of reductions in the previous two years that pared generics pricing from 75% of branded drug prices to 35%, notes RxA. Yet those reductions were done in a controlled manner, allowing pharmacies ample time to adjust, the association says.
“The [latest] cuts are so deep and so fast, it will be impossible for me to react quickly enough to ensure the sustainability of my pharmacy,” says Patrick Rurka, an independent pharmacist in Rimby, Alberta.