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The generic drug industry disagree with the bidding process that Quebec wants to implement


Alain Thériault

29 June, 2017 11:30

Photo : Freepik

The minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette, is to abandon the process as risky tendering for generic drugs prescription that it is preparing to set, and negotiate a solution that is sustainable, said Jim Keon, president of thecanadian generic pharmaceutical Association (CGPA).

Mr. Keon denounces the intentions of the Government of Quebec, stated during the parliamentary commission in the framework of the consultations on the draft of law 81 (Law aimed at reducing the cost of some medications covered by the basic prescription drug insurance plan by allowing the use of a tendering procedure).

Québec will, according to him, in place a bidding process that he describes as risky for his area, because it will limit the competition between the different manufacturers of generic drugs in Québec. He recalls that in Quebec, generic drugs are dispensed to fill 73% of all prescriptions but account for only 22% of the 6.5 billion dollars (G$) that Quebecers spend annually on prescription medicines.

The Québec economy disrupted

The real economies of the future tender process are unknown, and it would disrupt the current supply and future cheaper generic drugs, writes the president of the CGPA. It would weaken the jobs and the important investments in this sector, » adds Jim Keon.

«By limiting the number of manufacturers for a given product, the tendering process increases the risk of shortages and could lead eventually to a rise in prices that manufacturers have been forced out of the market. The pricing mechanism could also have significant negative effects on the industry in quebec generic drug, one of the engines of the area of life sciences with 4 100 direct jobs, has a direct economic impact of $ 769 million dollars and makes a significant contribution to Québec’s trade balance, while 40 % of local production is exported to other markets «, said Mr. Keon.

CGPA argues that such a process of price-fixing eliminates any incentive for generic drug manufacturers to use against the patent as » weak and frivolous «, and to market new generic drugs cheaper.

Proposals ignored

CGPA has discussed for months, with Quebec on track for savings for the health system, but deplores the fact that a solution that it considers a win-win for the industry, generic and the government has been ruled out

«At the beginning of the month of June 2017, the CGPA has filed its most recent proposal that would have allowed the Quebec Government to achieve its objective of average annual savings for a total of$ 1.5 billion. This proposal included price reductions on additional generic drugs to be sold as well as the cost savings generated through the launch of new generic drugs less expensive, » said Mr. Keon.

The prices offered by the CGPA would, according to him, the Québec » in the level, or even under the level of international prices.» CGPA believes despite everything that a negotiated agreement with the Government of Quebec is still at hand. It calls for Quebec to abandon its approach and to negotiate a lasting agreement.

The CPOMA in favour of the call for tenders

Thecanadian Association of insurance companies of persons who participated in the parliamentary commission on bill 81, the 24th of February. The CLHIA responded to the announcement made on 10 June by Québec to go to tender. «We will support the minister of Health, Dr. Barrette, in each of its initiatives to reduce the invoice of the medicine in Quebec. It will be a pleasure to collaborate in the implementation of this new way to set prices for generic drugs in Quebec, has responded to the Log of the insurance the president of CLHIA Quebec, Lyne Duhaime.

In its press release that confirms the passage of bill 81, the minister noted that despite the differences, there was consensus on the existence of a margin of manoeuvre in the chain of the drug to achieve cost savings. «With the tenders, the insured will pay less money for the same products,» he concluded.

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