Most people take it by mouth.
But in Ontario, we may have to take it in both ends, after Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall and Pharma Plus are through with us.
The generic pharmaceutical.
The Ontario government is cutting the price of generic drugs to equate to 25 per cent of the price of their brand name counterparts. These savings will be passed on to the consumer, and the government, of course.
So we finally catch a break, right?
Well, we actually catch a 22.
This is good for the government as it expects to save $500 million annually in payouts to the Drug Benefit Program.
This is bad for the pharmacies, as Shoppers and the Katz Group (which operates Rexall and Pharma Plus) claim they will be forced to restructure their businesses and cut millions and millions of dollars in costs.
This leaves Ontarians at the heels of Shoppers and the Katz Group’s threats, having warned layoffs, store closures, reduction of hours and services, and increased dispensing fees for the customer.
Ontario is a trendsetter for the rest of Canada in this regard, and it won’t be long before other provinces follow.
Now, before you start defending the Liberal (although neo-conservative) provincial government, or the disgusting antics of the big box pharmacies, there are some things you should know…
Pharmaceutical companies are evil.
Have you ever wondered how much it costs a drug company for the active ingredient in a certain prescription medication?
Pills are expensive. So too must be the ingredients, right?
Well, the same generic drugs you buy in Canada at, $1, $10, $14 (and so on) per pill will cost pennies on the dollar on the world market. Just check out the International Drug Price Indicator Guide.
For example, the AIDS “cocktail” is made up of three different medications to help stop HIV from spreading through the body: Lamivudine, Stavudine, and Nevirapine. The Ontario Formulary, a fair market value pricing of drugs, lists this cocktail at $12.65 per dose – the lowest price from all Formularies across the country.
Were you to purchase this exact drug and dose, World Health Organization approved, on the world market, you would pay the price of a gumball.
Not quite a spoonful of sugar to help that medicine go down, is it?
Just a little more vinegar for your too expensive to medicate wound…
Anyone on Lipitor? Its mark-up is almost 5,000 per cent.
Anyone on Celebrex? Its mark-up is almost 22,000 per cent.
Anyone on Prozac? (Because you may need it after you read this…) Its mark-up is almost 225,000 per cent.
The list goes on.
(And the list will go on in a future post, when we look at how Canadians, who are victims to illnesses such as AIDS and cancer are also victims to pharmaceuticals.)
Again, pharmaceutical companies are evil.
According to Forbes magazine's list of 2,000 multinational companies, the average annual profit margin is about eight per cent, but for the top pharmaceutical countries the average profit margin is a morphine-numbing 20 per cent.
And as the AIDS cocktail has three ingredients to a dose, so too does this expensive dose of reality.
Pharmaceuticals + Government + Pharmacies = Sickening.
So, bravo to Dalton McGuinty’s government, for lowering the price of generic drugs to a point where they are still grossly overpriced.
And bravo to Shoppers Drug Mart and the Katz Group for threatening to reduce their services and increase their already ridiculously high dispensing fees.
Now who's ready for that Prozac?