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Higher prices, drug shortages, store closures: The PC prescription for pharmacies

EDMONTON, AB (April 11, 2013): The consequences of an ill-conceived across-the-board reduction in generic drug prices will lead to pharmacy closures, more expensive medication, and some drug shortages, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today. 

Today, Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith and several Wildrose MLAs joined protesting pharmacists on the steps of the Legislature to call for the government to reverse this policy and make the necessary changes to keep pharmacy doors open. It is the second pharmacy protest in less than a month. Smith said the government is pricing pharmacists out of the market with price controls, jeopardizing the availability of critical medications for Alberta patients. “Once again, this government thinks it knows best. By forcing pharmacists to sell drugs at a price point they can’t afford, they are putting Albertans who need their medicine at risk,” Smith said. “This government needs to reverse course on this policy immediately, or risk drug shortages and pharmacy closures across Alberta.” Instead of reducing generic drug prices for six of the most commonly used medications, as other provinces have done, the PCs have decided to force pharmacists to sell all generic drugs at a cut rate. Wildrose Seniors Critic Kerry Towle said this kind of government-knows-best decision making is harming Albertans. “While other provinces realized they could only go so far, this government thought they could set the price for the entire market,” Towle said. “As usual, they were wrong. The new funding model will result in fewer and more expensive generic drug options and will put the quality of Alberta’s healthcare system at risk.”