Generic medicines generally cost less

Using generic medications can be one of the most effective ways to reduce health care costs

There are many generic versions of brand-name drugs, and they continue to become available as patents for brand-name medications expire. The savings can be substantial. Today, the average retail price for brand-name prescriptions in Canada is $110.24 while the average price for generic prescriptions is $19.09.

The savings can be substantial

Generic drug makers can offer much lower prices in part because they are not required to repeat the extensive clinical trials required to develop brand-name drugs. The savings can be substantial and may be passed along to you in the form of lower prices.

Using generics is one way to reduce health care costs

Provincial governments pay for approximately 43.4% of all prescription drugs. That means tax payers can save their provincial health care system, and ultimately themselves, a great deal of money by taking generic drugs. All Canadian provinces have adopted laws and/or regulations that encourage the substitution of brand-name drugs for generics when an approved, therapeutically equivalent generic version is available. Several provinces require the Pharmacist to dispense the generic version unless the prescription specifically states otherwise. If a patient refuses the generic version, that patient will usually be required to pay the difference in cost. Generic drugs accounted for 73% of all dispensed prescriptions in 2019, up 8.2% compared to 2018.

Generic drugs can save the private sector money as well

Canadian companies spend about $244 million per week through private drug plans on the cost of prescription drugs and these costs continue to rise. As a result, offering benefit plans that cover the cost of prescriptions is becoming more difficult. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of employees to reduce the cost of their prescriptions by choosing generics where available, which contributes to the future sustainability and viability of their benefit plans.