CARP Endorses Ontario Drug Reform

Susan Eng with Ontario MInister of Health Deb Mathews

This week CARP supported the Ontario government’s announcement of its plan to provide financial supports for rural/ underserviced pharmacies as part of its overhaul of the province’s drug system. To read about the Ontario drug system reform click here

After the government’s April 7th announcement that it would reduce most generic drug prices by at least 50 per cent, eliminate professional allowances and fund pharmacies for the services that pharmacists provide, many voices within the pharmacy industry asserted that the elimination of professional allowances paid to pharmacies by drug companies would cause the demise of small/ rural pharmacies and compromise pharmacists’ ability to provide services such as home delivery. Under the plan announced this week, dispensing fees for pharmacists in rural and underserviced communities will rise by as much as $5 for every prescription filled. It is important to note that, according to the government, these higher fees will not affect the co-payments currently paid by those who are covered under the public drug plan. The government also announced that it would provide a $1 transitional fee for each prescription filled and provide direct funding for the delivery of pharmacy services.

At the press conference at which these changes were announced, CARP commended the government for taking steps to protect pharmacies in rural and underserviced areas and applauded the province’s move to pay pharmacists directly for the services they provide. CARP also emphasized that new funding for pharmacy services such as home delivery, at home meds check, quarterly medication reviews for those in long-term care facilities, and diabetes consultations, will greatly benefit older Ontarians. To view a video of the announcement click here.

Editor’s Note: In days to come we will also be uploading a video of the event to this page.

Keywords: drugs, pricing