Sources Media Release

News Release

Ontario Should Consider
B.C.'s Cost-Saving Drug Plan

July 5, 1995


The MRG issued the following media release on July 5:

The multinational pharmaceutical industry, defending its commercial interests, is attacking a British Columbia plan to save taxpayers money on prescription drugs. When there is more than one therapeutically equivalent drug available, the British Columbia plan, as reported in the Globe and Mail, July 5, 1995, would pay only for the lowest-priced of these therapeutically equivalent drugs.

Under the B.C. proposal, called reference-based pricing, if a doctor prescribed a more expensive drug, there would be two options. First, the doctor could justify the need for the more expensive drug, in which case the government would reimburse the cost. If the doctor could not justify her drug choice, the government would pay only for the cheaper effective alternative. Similar plans have been used in other constituencies, including Germany.

Many new expensive drugs offer no advantages over existing, less expensive alternatives. The pharmaceutical industry, through sophisticated advertising, is often successful in persuading physicians to prescribe such drugs. The result is needless cost to patients, with no benefit.

Pharmaceutical industry advertising is often misleading, and always slanted in favour of the industry. Doctors often do not have the time nor the expertise to distinguish between accurate and misleading claims. Industry efforts contribute toward physicians' suboptimal drug prescribing which has been documented in many studies.

As reported in the Globe and Mail, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association of Canada, representing the multinational pharmaceutical industry, has been running a series of full-page newspaper adds warning against the proposed plan. The plan will, in fact, provide needed savings in a health care system that is threatened by government spending cutbacks. The Medical Reform Group endorses the B.C. plan, and warns the public not to be misled by the partisan and heavily financed reaction by the industry.

Subject Headings: Abortion Rights Community Health Community Health Centres Drug Substitution Epidemiology Epidemiology/Community Medicine Health Administration Health Care Budgets Health Care Cost Containment Health Care Costs Health Care Delivery Health Care Finance & Fund-Raising Health Care in Canada Health Care in Ontario Health Care in the U.K. Health Care in the U.S. Health Care Myths Health Care Reform Health Care Resources Health Care Services Health Care Workers Health Clinics Health Determinants Health Economics Health Expenditures Health Issues Health Policy Health Policy/SeniorsHealth Service Organizations Health/Social Justice Issues Health Statistics Health/Strategic Planning History Hospitals Labour Medicine Medical Associations Medical Costs/Foreign Medical Education Medical Ethics Medical Human Resources Medical Personnel Medical Research Funding Medicare Medication Use Medication Use/Seniors NAFTA/Health Occupational Health & Safety Patients' Rights Pharmaceuticals Physician Compensation Physician Human Resources Pro-Choice Issues Public Health Publications/Health Social Policy Women's Health


Click here to view our Sources Listing

Main News Release page - The Sources Calendar - Search Sources Listings - Parliamentary Names & Numbers

How to Post Your Press Releases

Sources home page
Search the Sources directory to find experts and spokespersons

Sources: The Resource for Editors, Reporters, and Researchers