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Many drug costs increasing as a result of PC mismanagement

EDMONTON, AB (April 8, 2013): The consequences of an across-the-board reduction in generic drug prices are now directly impacting patient care in Alberta with the delisting of major drugs soon leading to increased costs for Albertans, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

Alberta Health and Wellness has now released the list of the generic drugs which will no longer be covered in Alberta because the manufacturers of those drugs will not sell them at the price the government is prepared to pay.  Among the “delisted” drugs are such common prescriptions such as penicillin and ketorolac. “We’re beginning to see how this government’s misguided changes in regulations impacting our pharmacies are beginning to directly impact the quality of care for Alberta patients,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said.  “Pharmacists and everyday Albertans have been warning about the danger of this government’s disastrous policy change, but the Minister of Health just didn’t listen.” The delisting of these generic drugs will in many cases mean higher costs for Albertans since the brand name versions are more costly. For example  triamcinolone, is used to treat a variety of conditions including arthritis, lupus and athsma. Of its two generic variations, one is now delisted because the drug maker won’t sell it for what our government will pay.  That means this version will no longer be covered by Alberta Health, while the only other listed version is discontinued. The brand name version is more than double the cost of the generics. “This PC government just spent $400,000 on an ad campaign claiming the reduction in generic drug prices would lead to lower drug prices.  In many cases it won’t, drug costs for Albertans will actually go up significantly. This policy is not good medicine for Alberta, for patients and for our pharmacies and this government needs to change its direction,” Smith said. The Wildrose has long been warning of the dangers of the PC government’s new changes to the regulations governing pharmacies in Alberta on both the impact it will have on providers and patients who rely on pharmacists for care. “We’re beginning to see how this government’s style of decision making is harming Alberta,” Wildrose Seniors Critic Kerry Towle said.  “The new funding model put in place by this government is now back-firing and putting the quality of Alberta’s healthcare system at risk.”