A study released on September 13, 2010 by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives claims that billions of dollars could be saved if the provincial governments could agree on a joint, national plan for purchasing both brand-name and generic pharmaceuticals. The report claims that the provinces deliberately pay between 16 and 40 per cent more than other industrialized countries in order to attract pharmaceutical investment and suggests that if Canada were to buy pharmaceuticals in bulk at a reduced rate, over $10 billion could potentially be saved.

Additionally, the report claims that Canada’s industrial policy of paying higher amounts for brand name drugs has been completely ineffective, since only Ontario, Quebec, and BC benefit from the pharmaceutical industry. More significantly, the report claims that Canada is spending “$1,530 million more than the average prices of brand-name drugs in OECD countries in order to generate $537 million in R&D spending.” However, no mention is made in the report of other significant factors that might be negatively affecting R&D spending in Canada.

For more information, please see the following link: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/