The pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) has developed a new initiative in collaboration with the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) to minimise the prices of prescription generic drugs in the country.
The pCPA consolidates provinces, territories and federal drug plans for negotiation of prices for publicly covered drugs, while the CGPA represents companies producing generic prescription drugs.
Effective from 1 April, the five-year initiative will see a 25% to 40% decrease in the prices of 70 most commonly prescribed drugs such as those used for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression in Canada.
Expected to provide overall discounts of around 90% compared to the price of brand-name equivalents, the initiative will improve sustainability of drug plans, pricing consistency and access to new drugs.
Prior joint efforts between these Canadian associations are reported to have led to more than C$1bn ($810m) savings to participating drug plans over the last five years.
It is expected that annual savings of C$250m ($202m) will continue, and the new initiative is anticipated to add C$385m ($312m) during the first year and approximately C$3bn ($2.43bn) over the next five years through price reductions and release of new generic drugs.
To ensure a stable supply, the drugs covered under this initiative will be manufactured by various generic companies, who could rely on pricing stability and predictability to invest in new cost-saving drugs.
A report by the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board noted that the country’s generic drug prices experienced an average reduction of 48% between 2010 and 2015, and the new initiative is intended to improve this position in relation to generic prices in international markets.