B.C. dumps its generic drug-pricing deal, cites savings shortfall

Associated Press

VICTORIA - The B.C. government is dumping its generic drug pricing deal with the B.C. Pharmacy Association and the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, saying the deal is saving far less money than hoped.

Health Minister Mike de Jong says the deal didn't pay off for the government and he's introducing legislation this spring to lower generic drug prices to 25 per cent of the cost of brand name drugs.

He says the B.C. legislation will be modelled on an Ontario bill adopted in April, 2010.

The B.C. government and the pharmacy association and drug stores signed a deal 18 months ago to lower the cost of generic drugs to 35 per cent of brand name drugs by this April.

De Jong says the deal fell short because of to the high number of requests from drug manufacturers to exempt certain drugs from price reductions.

The government estimated the deal would save $329 million in drug costs, but now it says the net savings estimate is $53 million between 2010 to April of 2013.

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