CGPA asking Quebec Government to Maintain a Cap on Professional Allowances Paid to Pharmacists

Montreal, December 23, 2015 – The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) is appealing to the Quebec government to use the consultation period on the proposed changes to the Regulation respecting benefits authorized for pharmacists to maintain a reasonable limit on the professional allowances generic drug manufacturers pay pharmacists, in order to avoid a complete removal of the cap and the associated risks.

“We support the extension of pharmacists’ scope of practice, in Quebec and all of Canada, as well as the principle of fair remuneration for the important services they deliver to patients,” said Jim Keon, President of the CGPA. “The elimination of the rules governing the generic drug manufacturers’ payment of professional allowances to Quebec pharmacists is, however, a solution that is neither viable, nor sustainable for financing these services, and even less so for bridging the gap to be filled by pharmacists.”

In fact, the proposed total removal of the cap would be doubly unfair: not only would generic drug manufacturers be the only ones to foot the bill, but the amount payable to pharmacists would end up being substantially higher than the remuneration they were initially demanding.

In this context, the deregulation of professional allowances and the ensuing cost hikes would disproportionately hinder generic drug companies that are a source of local employment, that invest in Quebec and that carry out R&D here, while benefitting suppliers that exclusively import products from countries with low production costs. The generic medication industry is responsible for over 4,000 direct jobs in Quebec and is growing, thanks to substantial investments in capital assets such as R&D.

Furthermore, particular attention needs to be paid to the impact that deregulation of professional allowances would have on the costs of prescription medications in the longer term. In fact, it risks discouraging generic and biosimilar firms from developing and marketing new products, thus depriving Quebecers of substantial savings.

“The CGPA will soon be releasing an economic study to assess impact of the proposed change on Quebec. It also wishes to discuss alternative solutions that would limit the impact of this decision on the industry it represents, now that abrupt and unreasonable changes to the rules of the game threaten the stability, predictability and sustainability of the generic drug supply chain in Quebec,” said Jim Keon.

About the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association
The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) represents manufacturers of generic pharmaceutical and biosimilar products that supply Canadians with high-quality medication at a lower price and help the health system save close to $15 billion each year. Generic drugs are dispensed to fill 67% of all prescriptions but account for only 23% of the $22 billion Canadians spend annually on prescription medicines.

For more information, please contact:
Daniel Charron, Tel.: (514) 286-6061, Mobile: (514) 586-1233, Email: