Prices of generic depression drugs to be cut by up to 90% this year

Jan 31 2018, 10:41 pm

Prices of nearly 70 commonly prescribed drugs in Canada will be cut by an additional 25- 40%, resulting in a discount of up to 90% off when compared to brand-name equivalents.

In a joint statement between the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA), with the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA), and on behalf of participating federal, provincial, and territorial public drug plans, the parties have developed a new five-year initiative to provide “significant savings” for those who use prescription drugs.

According to their statement, as of April 1, 2018, the price reduction on drugs will include those used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression, which are collectively used by millions of Canadians.

“More than 70% of all prescriptions reimbursed under Canada’s public drug plans are generic drugs,” reads the statement. “This new initiative will not only provide savings to patients and increase the sustainability of drug plans, but will also improve pricing consistency across the country, and help drug plans increase access to new drugs in Canada.”

According to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, Canada’s generic drug prices decreased by an average of 48% between 2010 and 2015, which was greater than the generic price declines among other countries.

The new joint effort has resulted in savings of over $1 billion to participating drug plans over the past five years, and will continue to save $250 million per year.

Generic drugs contain the same active ingredients and work the same way in the body as the original brand name drugs, but are cost-effective for Canadians.

“The generic drugs covered in this initiative are manufactured by multiple generic companies, helping to ensure a stable supply for Canadian patients,” said the pCPA. “Pricing stability and predictability will also help to ensure that generic pharmaceutical manufacturers can continue to invest in bringing new cost-saving generic drugs to the Canadian market in the coming years.”

The list of generic drugs subject to further price discounts effective April 1 will be listed here.

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