EDMONTON, AB (March 19, 2013): Today, the Wildrose Official Opposition called on the PC government to halt its reckless plan to hike operating costs on Alberta pharmacists and risk losing critical health care services across the province. The government’s proposed decrease to how much it pays pharmacists for carrying generic drugs will threaten the viability of pharmacists across Alberta and could result in major service gaps and drug shortages.
In Question Period today, Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith and Seniors Critic Kerry Towle both urged the government to abandon its proposed changes in order to preserve important pharmaceutical care for Albertans who depend on it. “Mr. Speaker, drug stores, regardless of size, have significant inventories of medications on hand. The Minister’s ill-conceived plan to reduce payments for most of those medicines means pharmacies will have to absorb hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps millions, in losses,” Smith said in the Legislature. “Why does the Minister seem intent on wrecking this important component of health care delivery?” Towle points out that the proposed reduction in generic drug payments will also put the squeeze on pharmacists who provide care in continuing care homes and seniors lodges. “Pharmacists are telling me that these changes will ensure that they can no longer afford to provide drugs to continuing care centres, leaving the delivery of important drugs to vulnerable seniors at risk,” Towle said. “Is the Health Minister even aware of the damage this government’s policies are creating and does he even know his constant meddling may result in seniors not having access to pharmaceutical care?”