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As of May 1st, 2013, the Government of Alberta has mandated that community pharmacies need to sell their generic drugs for 28% to 50% less than what they sold them for on April 30, 2013.
For payers of prescription drugs (mainly the Government and insurance companies) this is good news. For people who access health services at their local community pharmacy, this means bad news. Pharmacies will have no choice but to pass on the cost of providing unfunded health services to their patients – regardless of their ability to pay for them. This is not fair to those vulnerable individuals who are unable to pay for those services and to those with fixed incomes. Overall, these changes will cost our public health care system more and it will mean less accessible health care for Albertans.
However, this does not mean that the fight for “patient-care first” is over! Pharmacists and pharmacies are demanding that the Government of Alberta come back to the table to negotiate a solution to this problem. Without the government and the pharmacy community working together, it will be difficult to accomplish what is absolutely needed for patient care in Alberta.
Community pharmacies are still collecting signatures on our petition to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. If you have not done so already, please visit your local pharmacy to sign the petition. If you have questions or concerns about how this budget cut will affect YOU, then ask your local pharmacist what you can do about it!
Some ways you can help include:
On May 13, petitions are being presented to the Alberta Legislature with signatures of approximately 25,000 Albertans, urging the Government of Alberta to make changes to their policy so that the services Alberta’s pharmacists provide today will be the same as the services that they can receive from their pharmacists tomorrow.
See Press Release