Albertans are now paying lower prices for generic drugs

Alberta drops generic drug prices and adds pharmacy services.  Effective July 1, the province reduced the price of generic drugs to 35 per cent of the equivalent brand name drug cost, from 45 per cent. This reduction is the latest step in Alberta’s pharmaceutical strategy. A 30-day washout period is in place to allow pharmacies to run out inventories of generics that were purchased prior to the price change.

Alberta also announced that pharmacists will be compensated for seven new pharmacy services designed to make access to primary health care easier and more efficient.

  1. Patient assessment for prescription renewal – Pharmacists may renew a patient’s prescription without requiring the patient to visit his or her physician.
  2. Assessment and adaptation of a prescription – Pharmacists may adapt an existing prescription or contact the original prescriber to have a prescription changed. This may apply, for example, when a patient loses weight or has a reduction in blood pressure.
  3. Patient assessment for initiating medication therapy – If a pharmacist has additional prescribing authority, the pharmacist will be compensated for assessing a patient and writing a prescription.
  4. Patient assessment in a medication-related emergency – In an emergency situation where a pharmacist believes that medication is necessary and the patient does not have a prescription for a drug, the pharmacist can authorize use of that drug.
  5. Assessment and administration of medications by injection– Pharmacists will be compensated for patient assessment, administration of injection drugs and pre- and post-injection monitoring of patients
  6. Comprehensive annual care plan – This plan is created by a pharmacist and patient to address a patient’s complex health needs, for example, diabetes combined with an addiction. The plan is intended to help patients understand their medications, set medication therapy goals and allow pharmacists to monitor patients’ progress.
  7. Standard medication management assessment – This plan is the same as the above plan, but is designed for patients who have simpler health needs.

Pharmacist compensation for these services also became effective July 1, 2012The content of this came from a Great West Life memo and is for general use and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal or tax advice. The content of this article is based on information available at the time of publication, which is subject to change. Efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this GroupLine. However, it may contain errors or omissions or become out of date following publication.

Did you know that Alberta pharmacists fill 33 million prescriptions per year; about 20 million of these are for generic drugs.

Written by Jim Yih

Jim Yih is a Fee Only Advisor, Best Selling Author, and Financial Speaker on wealth, retirement and personal finance. Currently, Jim specializes in putting Financial Education programs into the workplace. For more information you can follow him on Twitter @JimYih or visit his other websites and Clearpoint Benefit Solutions.

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