The cost of prescrption drugs can be stressful, whether you’re paying out of pocket or they’re covered by your benefits program. Now, heavy discounts are coming to some common prescribed drugs!
Hopefully, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that if you have to purchase drugs, they’ll be a little cheaper in the near future.
The province recently announced that starting April 1, the prices of almost 70 commonly prescribed generic drugs will be discounted by up to 90 per cent off the price for equivalent brand-name drugs.
This “more than triples the number of drugs that were discounted under the previous generics initiative,” according to a recent statement from Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
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“This builds on discounts achieved to date and improves pricing in Canada relative to other countries to ensure we are getting the best value for money,” said Hoskins. “Patients will see these savings when they fill their prescriptions, whether it’s through a public drug plan, an employee plan or paying out of pocket.”
Though Canada is the only industrialized country with universal health care, it’s true that our nation has no national pharmacare strategy.
“Pharmacare would provide a cohesive, national approach for drug coverage, while increasing affordability for governments and providing equitable access to medications for Canadians. Savings from the [pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA)], including the $3 billion in savings from the initiative on generics […] show the power of a national approach to approving and purchasing drugs,” said Hoskins. “It also shows that, by working together, we can find the savings that make national pharmacare an affordable and realistic goal.”
So, national pharmacare might not be such a far-fetched plan for Canada.
This initiative in particular is expected to generate $3 billion in davings for public drug plans over five years. The savings will go towards “innovative drug therapies and ensuring the sustainability of our public drug plans, including OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare,” according to the province.
Generic drugs currently make up more than 70 per cent of all prescriptions reimbursed under public drug plans, so the discounts should provide some financial relief for many Ontarians.
More than 4,400 prescription medications are already covered as part of OHIP+ which provides free prescription medication to youth aged 24 and under.
According to Hoskins, the new discounts aim to increase “price stability, consistency and predictability” when it comes to prescription drugs.
The new intiative is between the pCPA and the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, and it was reached after discussions led by the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.