The Executive Officer of Ontario's Public Drug Programs (OPDP) has announced the implementation of a new initiative for "competitive agreements" for certain multiple-source drugs. The program is designed to obtain additional savings to the province on the prices of multiple-source drugs that are currently available on the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary (ODB Formulary). In a Notice dated July 8, 2008, Executive Officer Helen Stevenson stated that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has "high expectations for price reductions" as a result of this initiative.

The OPDP will issue its first Call for Applications for competitive agreements on July 25, 2008 for four drugs: enalapril, ranitidine, metformin and gabapentin.

Manufacturers will have until August 12 to submit applications and contracts may be awarded by late September. Initial contracts will be for two years beginning January 1, 2009, but could start as early as October 1, 2008.

For further discussion of this issue, please see:

The Drug Pricing and Reimbursement newsletter of July 10, 2008:

http://www.gowlings.com/resources/enewsletters/DrugPricingReimbursement/HtmFiles/V2N10_20080710.en.html

In addition, please see:

The Executive Officer's Notice of July 8, 2008:

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/drugs/opdp_eo/notices/exec_office_20080708.pdf

The OPDP's "Briefing for Stakeholders,":

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/drugs/opdp_eo/notices/stakeholder_briefing.pdf

More details released in the form of Q's and A's:

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/drugs/opdp_eo/notices/exec_office_20080716.pdf