Generic drug deal to save Quebec millions annually
The Quebec government says it will save more than $300 million a year on generic drugs after reaching a deal with the association representing Canada’s generic pharmaceutical companies.
Health Minister Gaetan Barrette believes the five-year agreement in principle will save the province $1.5 billion, which will be redistributed in the health-care system.
The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association said the deal includes further price discounts and the launch of new cost-saving generic prescription medicine.
Quebec already spends about $800 million a year on generic drugs and Barrette wanted to reduce those costs.
The deal is expected to come into effect this October.
“What will happen is a reduction in price on both the public sector and the private sector,” Barrette said.
“Quebecers will see on their bill, the price of generic drugs will go down as of this fall.”
In late June, in the midst of thorny negotiations, Quebec had said it was prepared to go to tendering in order to get cheaper generic prescription drugs.
The association said in a statement that a key clause in the deal is that Quebec won’t put out tenders for the drugs.
“This negotiated agreement is a much better path forward for taxpayers, patients, health-care providers and the generic pharmaceutical industry than a risky tendering system,” said association president Jim Keon.
Keon had previously said such tendering could threaten jobs as well as the supply of cost-saving generic pharmaceutical products.
Quebec’s generic pharmaceutical industry supports 4,100 direct jobs and creates a direct economic impact of $769 million, according to the association.