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Ontario Health Coalition: Submission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy on Bill 102, Transparent Drug System for Patients Act, 2006

Posted: May 29, 2006

(May 29, 2006)

In this bill, the government proposes several key initiatives to control the cost of drugs in Ontario including supporting the widening of the use of generics to replace the higher cost brand name drugs, reducing the mark up on drugs and ensuring that the provincial government pays pharmacies for the actual cost of drugs rather than paying more than the pharmacies pay for them.

The bill also changes the process for deciding what is on and off the Ontario Drug Benefits Plan formulary and price levels for drugs. The creation of a new Executive Officer to replace cabinet as the final decision-maker on these items is one that has raised several questions for us.

The bill has been accompanied by several announced initiatives that are not actually in the legislation, including the introduction of patient representatives in the drug review process and a citizens’ council. With the caveat that it is important for these patient and citizen representatives to be independent of drug industry influence, we support these initiatives.

In our view, the legislation is an important first step. We have consulted with medical experts who conclude that the evidence is that the initiatives contained in this bill will not harm the health of patients and will work to control drug costs.

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