Prescription drugs – Quebec wins top honours

Prescription drugs – Quebec wins top honours

Quebec City (Quebec) 23 January 2015 – In a study just completed by two University professors from UBC, the theories about Quebec overspending on prescription drugs brought forward by Minister Barrette, is indeed a reality and proved that Quebec loses about $1.5 billion a year, or that the average person pays about $187 a year too much on those pills they take on a regular basis.

In all, Quebec spends 35% more than the other provinces on prescription drugs, whether it is through a private insurance program, or through the government’s reimbursement plan. Quebecers take more drugs and pay more for them than anywhere else in Canada.

Why you ask! Firstly, Quebecers are prescribed and take more drugs than the other provinces to a difference of $1.2 billion. Just the difference in the number of drugs prescribed could save the government $1.2 billion dollars a year.

Secondly, the drugs used are much more costly in Quebec than elsewhere to the tune of $387 million, mostly because Quebec uses less generic drugs than brand names.

Those pills used to reduce cholesterol, eg: Lipitor, cost 46% more here than to our neighbours to the east and west. Tranquillizers cost, for some unknown reason, 60% more in Quebec.

Quebec’s population has greater number of people over the age of 65 but, it only accounts for a 5% difference when compared to the rest of Canada.

It is not sure if the Quebec government’s generous reimbursement plan has any affect on the number of drugs consumed by Quebecers.

The study was conducted by Kate Smolina, and Steve Morgan from the University of British Columbia based on figures from 2012-2013 and are similar to a previous study done by Marc-André Gagnon from Carleton University in Ottawa.

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