News release

Fair Drug Pricing Act To Become Law On July 1

The province's Fair Drug Pricing Act will go into effect Friday, July 1, leading to lower drug prices for Nova Scotians covered by Pharmacare and a better deal for taxpayers.

"This is a very exciting day. With the Fair Drug Pricing Act becoming law, seniors and other Nova Scotians enrolled in Pharmacare will finally get the fair drug prices they deserve," said Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald. "As part of our commitment to make life better for Nova Scotians, the act will result in lower prices for generic drugs, and make sure Pharmacare remains in place for Nova Scotians who need it."

By August, seniors and other Nova Scotians will pay less for each prescription of most generic drugs at the pharmacy counter. Pharmacies in the province will have a month from July 1 to clear out their stock of drugs at the old price and get stock in at the new price.

"Nova Scotians have paid too much for generic drugs in the past, more than people in other provinces and most countries. This is changing with the Fair Drug Pricing Act, which will bring prices for generic drugs here in line with those in other parts of Canada," said Ms. MacDonald.

A cap will be set on generic drug prices based on the price of equivalent brand drugs under the Pharmacare programs.

The cap will be phased in over a year as follows:

  • July 1: a cap of 45 per cent will be put in place
  • Jan. 1, 2012: the cap will move to 40 per cent
  • July 1, 2012: the cap will move to 35 per cent

The province consulted with the public, pharmacists, pharmacy owners, seniors, doctors and other groups on the best way to get fair drug prices last fall. Based on the input, government developed its fair drug pricing plan, which was unveiled when the act was introduced in April.

More than 200,000 Nova Scotians including seniors, people on income assistance, and families, are enrolled in Pharmacare.

The province's Pharmacare programs, which accounted for $300 million last year, include Seniors' and Family Pharmacare, Diabetes Assistance Program, Drug Assistance for Cancer Patients, Pharmacare benefits through the Department of Community Services, and Pharmacare benefits to residents of long-term care facilities younger than 65.

For more information on government's fair drug pricing plan, go to www.gov.ns.ca/health/fairdrugprices .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province's Fair Drug Pricing Act goes into effect Friday (July 1st).

Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald says that the new legislation will make life better for seniors and other Nova Scotians in the Pharmacare programs by getting lower prices for generic drugs.

By August, seniors and other Nova Scotians will pay less for each prescription of most generic drugs at the pharmacy counter.

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Media Contact:

Kristen Rector
Health and Wellness 902-424-2727 E-mail: