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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:25 am 
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Location: Ottawa
Quote:
The country’s largest drugstore chains are going to war with the Ontario government over the price of generic drugs, saying the province’s move to slash prescription costs in half will cut deep into profits, forcing layoffs and store closings.

In a fight that threatens to spread to pharmacies across the country, Shoppers Drug Mart and the company behind the Rexall and Pharma Plus chains say they will have to restructure dramatically under the plan.

Ontario is cutting the price of generic medications to 25 per cent of the equivalent brand-name drug, from 50 per cent. The move will lighten the cost for consumers, but has thrown the drugstores into turmoil.


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-o ... cmpid=rss1

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 375
Location: Alberta
I'm not in Ontario, but this is a very severe blow to pharmacies. Alberta recently announced similar cuts ... but what the public doesn't realize, is that the generic companies have no intention of lowering their prices. So basically, we buy a generic drug, for example, at $0.50 per pill. We then charge the ~$10 fee on top of that. So a script for 100 pills would be $60. What this new policy suggests is that the government will mandate it so that pharmacies only get reimbursed for 25% of the cost, and we have to suck up the rest instead of passing the cost on to patients. I'm not entirely sympathetic to Shoppers because I work for them and they already have a policy of 1 pharmacist per shift, but we are SO BUSY all the time ... half the patients I see in a shift are people who don't have doctors / can't get in to the urgent care or walk in and need my advice. The government does not reimburse pharmacies in any way for these patients. We give injections now, handle phone calls from people who don't even use our pharmacy services, and we don't get paid for any of it. The government is trying to shift more and more health care onto the shoulders of pharmacists because they don't HAVE to pay them for it - except for the paltry $7-$10 per prescription fee, but only on those prescriptions that actually go through the public pay system (seniors, social assistance, etc). To break even, the average prescription costs somewhere between $13-15 so we are already losing money. Every minute, I have 2 people waiting on hold to talk to me, 2-3 people in the cough / cold aisles waiting for advice, someone showing me the mysterious rash that is spreading all over their private parts, and at least 10 people waiting for education on their prescriptions / asthma teaching / diabetic counselling / morning after pill / "I left my meds at home and I'm here on holidays - what can I do?". You get the picture.

The media likes to portray pharmacies as greedy, but I don't know any pharmacists who are raking it in, other than the guys who "float" from store to store when pharmacists need to take a holiday. We struggle just like everyone else, despite the same length of education as doctors. So while I don't encourage you to stand up for your Shoppers, I would encourage you to help your independent pharmacies, rural pharmacies, those that are open late, because they are going to be in trouble. I'm actually leaving Shoppers at the end of this month, it's just become too much to deal with.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Glad to hear another perspective.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 253
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
Momtobunches,

What you say is so true. What you describe is part of why I gave up being a pharmacist. (That, and I wanted to become a full-time Mom.) When people are sick, they are so demanding and rude as well. What many people don't realize is that the pharmacist sometimes doesn't even have time to go to the bathroom, or have lunch, because so many patients are waiting. Don't get me wrong, it can be very rewarding too, when you really help someone. I had seniors bake me bread etc., but the drug seeker screaming at me that I was a b**** because I wouldn't give him more pain pills did not make my day. Also it can be a stressful job, because you cannot make a mistake at all.

Now, if someone tells me their child is going into pharmacy, I recommend the hospital setting, as my friends who work there find it much less stressful; you actually get coffee breaks etc. So to all the non-pharmacists out there, next time you get a prescription or ask for (free!) advice about your cough/wart/diarrhea, please thank your pharmacist--they really do work hard.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Sounds like much of health care...bad when you can't go to the bathroom though.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
I'd like to add in something else for people to think about.

There is a reason brand name costs more then generic. In some cases, the brand name is better. But, even when equivalent -- the money spent on brand name goes back in to research and development of new (and hopefully better) medications.

I'm not saying "don't buy generic". But, we are a community of people that are looking for a cure and better treatments. (come-on epi-card).

Although, my insurance sometimes will only pay for the generic.

~~

Why do some people think a pharmacist is a doctor? Wonky people. After being given a heart medication instead of the antihistamines my doctor prescribed :banghead I now try to stick with one pharmacist that I know and trust.

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3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Pharmacists are more available, approachable than Dr's.

Many people can't even get to see a regular GP.

Let's see Dr's set up HealthWatch type programs for their patients! :banana

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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