Newfoundland and Labrador predict a savings of $17 million this year on prescription generic drugs, following enactment of a joint provincial bulk-buying plan to lower generic drug costs. Saskatchewan predicts a savings of about $10 million under the plan which took effect this month.
So far, provincial health departments have lowered the cost of six commonly used generics, with more to fall under the price reduction plan throughout the year.
The health care component of the Council of the Federation, a collaboration of premiers from Canadian provinces and territories, agreed in January 2013 to reduce the cost of generic drugs, without federal help. The initial price cuts took effect April 1.
The six drugs, for common ailments like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression and gastrointestinal conditions, represent "20 percent of the publicly funded spending on generic drugs in Canada," according to the Federation.