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Lower prices negotiated for prescription drugs

The province has negotiated lower drug prices, and added more prescription drugs to the pharmacare formulary, benefiting Manitobans by saving tax payers millions of dollars and creating more choice for those families who need life-saving drugs. This announcement was made by Health Minister Theresa Oswald.

“Prescription drugs improve quality of life, help to advance recovery times and save taxpayers money by reducing reliance on more costly forms of medical treatment,” said Oswald. “A priority for our government is to secure low prescription drug prices that help Manitobans get the medications they need when they need them.”

The minister added that with lower drug prices and enhanced options, Manitoba families and government will save over $26 million annually. The lower prices announced today will save the pharmacare program $4 million per year and Manitoba families also benefit from these lower drug prices negotiated by government with expected savings of $8.6 million per year, Oswald noted.

Oswald said the savings from listing more generic drug alternatives are being reinvested to cover new brand name drugs including:

  • Aclasta (for the treatment of osteoporosis);
  • Allerject (for the emergency treatment of serious anaphylactic reactions);
  • Edurant (for the treatment of HIV);
  • Gilenya (for the treatment of multiple sclerosis);
  • Simponi (for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis);
  • Toviaz (for the treatment of urinary incontinence); and
  • Votrient (for the treatment of metastatic clear cell renal carcinoma).

“With our comprehensive, nationally recognized pharmacare program, Manitobans have come to expect low prescription drug costs and enhanced treatment options,” said Oswald. “The addition of these 92 new drugs to the formulary will provide more choice and significant savings to families dealing with medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and HIV.”

According to the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, generic drugs accounted for 65.1 per cent of prescriptions in Manitoba in 2011, the highest use of generics in Canada.

Pharmacare is a universal prescription drug program for Manitobans, with benefits based on family income. It covers 100 per cent of eligible drug costs once the income-based deductible is reached regardless of medical condition or age.

More information about the Manitoba Pharmacare Program is available at www.gov.mb.ca/health/pharmacare.

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