The Ontario Transparent Drug System for Patients Act, passed in 2006, caps the promotional allowances that can be received from generic drug companies to 20% of the cost of running a pharmacy. The Chairman of the Ontario Pharmacists' Association has estimated that the corresponding loss of revenue from the generic drug companies will exceed $275 million. The Canadian Press reports that some pharmacies in Windsor and Brockville have already had to close, while others are considering cutting back their hours and staff, and raising dispensing fees, to make up the shortfall. The Transparent Drug System for Patients Act also earmarked $50 million to allow patients chronically taking three or more medications to book an appointment with a pharmacist. The so-called MedsCheck program is intended to help patients avoid adverse drug interactions and ensure that they are taking their medication as prescribed. However, some pharmacists are concerned that, despite this $50 million infusion, pharmacists who are cutting back their hours and staff may not be available for the proposed appointments.

For more information about the MedsCheck program, please see

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/media/news_releases/archives/nr_07/jul/medscheck_factsheet_03_20070716.pdf

For Canadian Press' report, please see:

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070718/pharmacists_time_070718/20070718?hub=Health