New Drug pricing policy for April of 2013 will continue to erode the viability of independent pharmacies in Newfoundland and Labrador.
These changes are subsequent to the (non)negotiations held last year with provincially chosen pharmacy groups - resulting in an imposed contract. The remuneration was supposed to reflect that generic drug prices would be reduced to 35% of brand.
The Dunderdale government has now signed on to a reduction for 6 generic drugs to a price of 18% of brand. These drugs represent approximately 20% of the pharmaceutical dispensing. Therefore the "contract" reached last year ties pharmacies to dispensing fees that will not in any way offset these additional reductions.
Further pharmacies, physicians, and other health care advocates are already warning that drug shortages are impacting patient care. This new reduction in price will increase the likelihood that drug shortages will become more acute.
The CICPO is holding its AGM this weekend - after which a News Release will be distributed. This year's Annual General Meeting will focus on results presented by Dr. Wade Locke regarding the future viability of the independent pharmacy model. Dr. Locke has completed the in depth study over the past 6 months - and it will be made public by month's end.
The future for independent pharmacy both in rural communities and inner-city neighbourhoods will in large part depend on the willingness of government to realize the value and potential of these businesses and primary health providers.
More to follow....