B.C.: NEW DRUG PRICING RULE TO COME INTO FORCE APRIL. 1, 2013

     (The following press release from the Province of British Columbia, 
Canada, was received by e-mail and was reformatted. The sender verified the 
statement.) 
NEWS RELEASE 
For Immediate Release 
2012HLTH0137-001844 
Nov. 23, 2012  
Ministry of Health  
New drug price regulation to benefit B.C. families  
VANCOUVER - The government of British Columbia is following through on 
a commitment made earlier this year to lower the cost of generic drugs 
for B.C. families.  
A new drug pricing regulation will come into force on April 1, 2013, 
reducing the price of generic drugs to 25 per cent of the brand name 
price immediately, and to 20 per cent as of April 1, 2014. Currently, 
British Columbians pay 35 per cent of the brand name price for generic 
drugs.  
"B.C. families will soon notice that they pay less at the till when 
they fill their prescriptions," said Health Minister Margaret 
MacDiarmid. "Additionally, these price reductions will result in 
savings to our Government that will help enhance patient care for 
seniors and families."  
The drug price regulation is the first in a suite of regulations 
required to fully implement the Pharmaceutical Services Act, which came 
into force in May 2012. The act shifts B.C.'s PharmaCare program from 
relying on government policy, to being protected by legislation.  
The new regulation allows the Minister of Health to regulate the price 
of prescription drugs. Generic drugs have the same quality, strength, 
purity and stability as their brand name equivalents and are made to 
the same strict standards.  
"The ministry's consultation process was a good one and we are glad to 
see that Minister MacDiarmid heard community pharmacy's concerns about 
the need to provide a period of transition as they implement pricing 
changes," said Geraldine Vance, CEO of the BC Pharmacy Association. "We 
look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with government to 
find ways to achieve cost savings while preserving patient services 
provided by pharmacists across the province."  
"We are supportive of government's work in reducing the price of 
generic drugs," said Kenneth G. Martin, president and CEO of Pacific 
Blue Cross. "The new regulation brings B.C. in line with other Canadian 
jurisdictions and will help ensure fair and consistent pricing for B.C. 
families."  
BC PharmaCare helps British Columbians with the cost of eligible 
prescription drugs and designated medical supplies. As one of the most 
comprehensive drug programs in Canada, it provides reasonable access to 
drug therapy for every British Columbian through several drug plans.  
Fair PharmaCare provides British Columbians with assistance with 
prescription costs. Deductible levels are set to reflect patients' 
ability to pay. The lowest income earners pay no deductible at all, and 
those born in or before 1939 receive enhanced assistance.  
Under B.C.'s Family Agenda, government is working to make life more 
affordable for all British Columbians. To learn more, or to share your 
ideas, visit: www.familiesfirstbc.ca 
Learn more:  
For more information on BC PharmaCare please visit: 
www.health.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare/ 
A backgrounder follows.  
Media Contact: 
Ryan Jabs 
Media Relations Manager 
Ministry of Health 
250 952-1887 (media line)  
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect 
(kgt)NY