JointHealth™ express   July 12, 2010

The Better Pharmacare Coalition responds to the BC Government’s new policy on generic drugs.

On Friday July 9th, the BC government announced a new policy on generic drug prices and the Long Term Pharmacy Agreement as part of its work to overhaul the BC PharmaCare program. Cheryl Koehn, President of Arthritis Consumer Experts, is the chair of the BPC.

The policy, reducing the cost of generic drug prices to 35% of the brand-name treatment, is a step in the right direction. However, the government’s new policy falls short of ACE’s and the BPC’s expectations. The policy is a graduated scheme whereby the price will be reduced over the course of the next two years. The extended time period for this change is a disappointment and falls short of the BPC’s recommendations. The Government’s reason for making this change is to “benefit all British Columbians.” But, if that truly is the case, states the BPC, Government could do more. The Better Pharmacare Coalition recommends that generic drugs should cost, at most, 30% of the brand-name price and that the rendition should go into effect immediately. They go on to further explain that Ontario is planning to reduce the price for generics to 25%. If Ontario can, then we can too.

It is crucial that the government get feedback about this new policy. While BC is finally moving in the right direction, the government could do more to better serve British Columbian patients. To express your view, write letters to the editor of the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail, and your elected official. It is through pressure from the public that these changes in policy occur.

To view the press release published by the Better Pharmacare Coalition please click here and for more information about this topic, please visit