Elimination of price protection for sixty brand-name drugs in Quebec

As of January 13th, 2013, some 3.4 million Quebecers covered under the province’s public drug plan will only be reimbursed the lower generic rate for 62 previously protected molecules. The provincial government announced in its November budget the elimination of safeguards implemented in 1994 that protect brand-name drug producers from generic alternatives for 15 years.
As a consequence, the government now will only reimburse the lower generic rate for 62 previously protected molecules in a move it estimates will save $160 million per year. The most popular drugs include cholesterol medication Crestor, anti-depressant Celexa, blood-clot preventer Plavix, Seroquel for bipolar depression and blood pressure medication Diovan.
The government estimates this new change will translate into a savings of about 35 million dollars for the period between January 14 and December 31, 2013, said a spokesman from the RAMQ, Marc Lortie.
Despite the new rule, individuals who wish to purchase brand-name drugs over the generic equivalents can still do so, but must pay the difference in price.