Alberta pharmacist group 'shocked' at planned generic drug price reductions

EDMONTON, Alberta — A plan to significantly reduce generic drug prices in Alberta has drawn criticism from pharmacists in the Canadian province.

The Alberta Pharmacists' Association said it was "shocked" in response to the provincial government's 2013 budget, which reduces generic drug prices from 35% to 18% of branded drug prices, effective May 1. Over the past two years, prices have been reduced from 75% to 35%, but the RxA said it supported the government in those cases.

"The cuts are so deep and so fast, it will be impossible for me to react quickly enough to ensure the sustainability of my pharmacy," Rimby, Alberta, pharmacist Patrick Rurka said on behalf of the group. "My patients and community will be the real losers as the health services my pharmacy offers will be compromised. The patients' needs will either be off-loaded to physicians or will be left untreated."