The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association is taking issue with a new report from the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board that raised concerns about high prices for generic drugs in Canada.

“The pricing information in the . . . report released today by the PMPRB is from 2016 and does not reflect current prices of generic pharmaceutical products in the Canadian market, nor does it take into account the new Canadian pricing levels announced last week,” said CGPA president Jim Keon in a statement.

Read: Canada second-highest spender on generic drugs among OECD countries: report

The comments follow a report by the federal drug pricing regulator that found Canadians continue to pay more than most other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries for generic drugs, despite provincial and territorial policies that have greatly reduced prices in recent years. It showed that in the last quarter of 2016, the average foreign prices for generic drugs were still 14 per cent lower than in Canada.

In his statement, Keon referred to previous arrangements with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance to reduce generic drug costs as well as a new deal reached last month aimed at saving an additional $385 million in the first year and up to $3-billion over the next five years through a combination of price reductions and the launch of new products. He also noted findings that the 48 per cent average decrease in generic drug prices in Canada from 2010-15 was greater than declines in other countries.

“Today’s PMRPB report also does not reflect the high costs for manufacturers operating in the Canadian market relative to other countries due to the size of the Canadian market, Canada’s unique pharmaceutical intellectual property regime and multi-layered regulatory environment for pharmaceuticals,” Keon added, suggesting that the real path to savings is by bringing new generic drugs to market.

Read: What’s the landscape for private benefits plans around generic drug prices?

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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