Nova Scotians to benefit from lower generic drug price on April 1

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HALIFAX – Starting April 1, thousands of Nova Scotians, including seniors, will pay significantly less for six common generic drugs.

As part of the province's commitment to making life better for families, Nova Scotia collaborated with other Canadian provinces and territories to lower the cost of six of the most common generic drugs to 18 per cent of the equivalent brand-name drug.

"Medication can be very expensive, and we understand the need for affordable prices for drugs that help keep Nova Scotians healthy," said David Wilson, Minister of Health and Wellness. "We've taken a national approach to reducing the cost of these highly used medications, to help keep more money in the pockets of Nova Scotians."

At the July 2012 meeting of the Council of the Federation, premiers from across Canada, except Quebec, agreed to pursue a pan-Canadian effort to get better value for six generic drugs.

On April 1, the following six generic drugs will be priced at 18 per cent of the brand cost:

--Atorvastatin--used to treat high cholesterol

--Ramipril--used to treat blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions

--Venlafaxine--used to treat depression and other mental health conditions

--Amlodipine--used to treat high blood pressure and angina

--Omeprazole--used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal conditions

--Rabeprazole--used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal conditions

Before lowering the price to 18 per cent of the brand name drug cost, a senior on Pharmacare taking Atorvastatin 20mg would have paid $24.47 in co-payments for a 90-day supply compared to $14.86 or less now for the generic drug. Anyone who is currently paying the full amount for the prescription will see their cost reduced from $81.55 to $49.52 or less.

In addition to the reduced pricing for the six generic drugs, Nova Scotians continue to pay less for most other generic drugs thanks to the province's Fair Drug Pricing Plan, which already caps most generic drugs at 35 per cent of the cost of equivalent brand-name drugs. The six generic drugs above represent an even bigger savings to Nova Scotians at 18 per cent of the brand-name drug cost.

For more information, visit www.gov.ns.ca/health/fairdrugprices .

Geographic location: Nova Scotians, Nova Scotia, Canada Quebec

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