FREDERICTON (GNB) – Pharmacies will be allowed a transition period to help them adjust to the new generic drug pricing policy, announced Health Minister Madeleine Dubé.

“Our government recognizes that reducing generic drug prices will impact pharmacy revenues,” said Dubé. “In response to the concerns expressed by pharmacy owners, a 10-day transition period will be implemented to allow pharmacies to further reduce inventory purchased at higher prices.”

Dubé announced the generic drug pricing policy in March to come into effect on June 1. The 10-day transition period will delay the implementation of the maximum amount pharmacies are allowed to charge for generic drugs until June 11. Pharmacies will be able to purchase generic drugs at lower prices starting June 1.
 
The province will continue to engage pharmacies by establishing a working group which includes representatives from the Department of Health and the New Brunswick Pharmacists' Association.
 
Dubé said this group will monitor the savings achieved by the policy in the first year and will discuss opportunities related to the role of pharmacists in the health-care system and as well as potential reinvestment should savings be higher than projected.

In response to a request from the New Brunswick Pharmacy Association, the provincial government has also agreed to engage in formal negotiations with pharmacists once this first year has passed with a view to a signed agreement in 2013.

As part of the generic drug policy, a portion of the savings achieved through the reduction in generic drug prices will be reinvested into pharmacy services in the following ways:

●    investing about $4.5 million in 2012-13 to increase dispensing fees paid to pharmacists and paying a mark-up on generic drugs to help offset the reductions in revenues that pharmacies receive through rebates from generic drug manufacturers;
●    investing $233,000 to implement NB PharmaCheck, a medication review program, as an insured service under the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program for which pharmacies can be compensated;
●    investing $295,000 in a rural pharmacy incentive initiative by paying an additional $2 dispensing fee for the first 10,000 provincial prescription drug program prescriptions filled at pharmacies 25 kilometres or more from the next nearest pharmacy; and
●    investing $1.2 million to help offset the costs associated with pharmacies connecting to the provincial Drug Information System / Prescription Monitoring Program, which will improve prescribing and reduce the abuse of prescription drugs.

More information is available on the Department of Health website.

LINK:

●    Department of Health