This province is too slow to list its formulary generic drugs that have been approved by Health Canada, says the 65-member Council of Independent Community Pharmacy Owners.
By listing the drugs, the province saves money on the difference in price between generic drugs and the original brand drug for those patients who are eligible for drug coverage.
One example is the brand drug Aricept — used for treating Alzheimer’s disease, said the council’s executive director, Sue Kelland-Dyer.
The generic product CO DONEPEZIL was launched in December 2013. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island all listed it in January, but according to the council, it has not been listed in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The council said when it brought similar concerns to the government two years ago, there was quick action, but now the delays are back.
Kelland-Dyer said the difference in cost on a particular medication could be $150 for a brand drug and $20 for the generic equivalent.
“It adds up quickly. If they don’t list the generics, we are losing tens of thousands of dollars,” she said.
“Why Newfoundland and Labrador continues to be slow is not understood. These drugs are approved by Health Canada. It’s not an issue of safety.”
The council said the province also runs short of generic drugs, requiring it to resort to brand drugs and their accompanying prices. Last year, there were 46 not available. This year, there have been 10 already unavailable, the council said.