News release

Eight Companies Submit Proposals for Province's Request for Lower Drug Price

Nova Scotians are another step closer to getting fair drug prices.

Eight companies have submitted offers to government to provide atorvastatin, the generic form of Lipitor, a drug used to treat high cholesterol, at a better price. The province's request for proposal closed Wednesday, Oct. 6.

"I am pleased and encouraged by the response," said Health Minister Maureen MacDonald. "It is my hope that we can work together with drug companies, pharmacies, pharmacists and our other partners to get the fair drug prices that Nova Scotians deserve."

The proposals will now be evaluated.

Lipitor accounts for the largest part of government spending on drugs through the Pharmacare programs. In 2009-10, government spent $14.7 million on Lipitor through Pharmacare.

Atorvastatin became available in August, which costs less for Nova Scotians covered through Pharmacare. However, because Nova Scotians pay more for generic drugs than people in some other provinces, government believes it can get a fairer and better price.

The request for proposal for atorvastatin is an interim measure while gathering input on an overall plan for fair drug prices for Nova Scotians covered through Pharmacare and taxpayers. These consultations have begun.

Nova Scotians can provide input by e-mail to or by mail to Fair Drug Prices, c/o Pharmaceutical Services, Department of Health, P.O. Box 488, Halifax, N.S., B3J 2R8. More information is available at www.gov.ns.ca/health/fairdrugprices .

The tender and companies that submitted proposals are available at www.gov.ns.ca/tenders .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Eight companies have submitted offers to government to provide atorvastatin, the generic form of Lipitor, a drug used to treat high cholesterol, at a better price.

The province's request for proposal closed Wednesday (October 6th).

Health Minister Maureen MacDonald says she is encouraged by the response and hopes to work with drug companies, pharmacies and others to get the fair drug prices Nova Scotians deserve.

Nova Scotians can provide input on government's plan to get fair prices by e-mail to fair drug prices at gov dot n-s dot c-a or by mail. More information is available at w-w-w dot gov dot n-s dot c-a slash health slash fair drug prices.

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Media Contact:

Kristen Rector
Department of Health 902-424-2727 E-mail: