06.08.2011 06:42 AM

Drug prices and health costs – the Ontario Liberal approach, the Ontario PC record




  1. Transplanted Doerite says:

    I think ON generally took the right approach, and actually helped other provinces immensely in shouldering the fight with the chains, Shoppers in particular. The Canadian public now knows about this dirty little business with the generics, the chains and pharmacists thanks to ON.

    However, I think regulating/banning rebates is a mistake. It’s a completely perverse and insidious business model to be sure, but I’m not sure governments should be in the business of banning business practices between consenting adults.

    Just lower the price of generics/force them to compete at the payer level (through legislation if necessary) and the rebate model will go the way of the dodo bird. In fact, it will and is. So it’s not worth spending any political capital banning it IMHO.

    As for Hudak. The guy doesn’t have a hot clue about anything and that should give all Ontarians pause.

  2. scanner says:

    The real lever to change the pharmaceutical price model lies, alas at the federal level. The length of time a company can hold a patent on a drug was changed in the eighties to a ridiculous 19 years. Bring it back to 10 and regenerate the business Ontario had 25 years ago manufacturing generics for worldwide trade. Big pharma doesn’t deserve the handout it gets in this country.
    BTW Warren, glen at Windblog has an interesting blog about Mr. Hudak and the Conservatives:
    Best line: “The Conservative plan is anti business, anti employment, and pro climate change. Surprising. The party should change their name.”

    • Transplanted Doerite says:

      This has nothing to do with brand name drugs.

      Generic drugs are commodity items and not federally regulated. Indeed, the PMPRB has “no authority to regulate the prices of non-patented drugs, including generic drugs.” It is entirely the responsibility of Provinces to act to force them to compete. ON has taken steps to do so to save money, and presumably, to put back into health care. Makes sense to me.

      • Transplanted Doerite says:

        Yeah, I meant there prices were not regulated.

        Good point regarding publishing of prices and rebates. Not necessarily true what you say about the loss leader thing, although it’s a common response to this issue. If it truly was, Shoppers and the CACDS wouldn’t have spent so much time, energy and money fighting ON and other provinces on this stuff. Don’t kid yourself Gord, the Chains have made gazillions on these rebates, all the while common folk like yourself say that they don’t make any money on drugs.

        “get out of the pricing and purchasing racket” – I have no idea what you mean by this. Provinces (Pharmacare programs) are payers – the largest in fact. How exactly are they supposed to “get out of” that business?

  3. Jon Powers says:

    Fact: Dalton McGuinty has the second lowest approval rating of any provincial premier in the country. I’m not going to poke fun. Lame ducks have feelings too.

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