The Quebec Government has created uncertainty with a new tendering process within pharmaceutics
The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) has been in talks behind closed doors with the Quebec Government regarding the plan to render generic prescription medicines and reduce competition and competitive pricing amongst drug suppliers in Quebec. The area will become the first province to institute a tender system of such magnitude.
Jim Keon, President of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA), released a statement: "Over the past several months, CGPA has been engaged with the Government of Quebec regarding proposals that would provide substantial health-care savings to the province and help ensure the ongoing viability of the generic pharmaceutical industry and the continued and future supply of cost-saving generic pharmaceutical products.”
CGPA’s proposal would enable the Quebec Government to acquire savings of $1.5 billion over five years, including further discounts on common prescription drugs and additional savings.
He adds, “Instead of accepting these guaranteed savings and negotiating a sustainable agreement, the Government is planning to initiate a risky tendering scheme, with unknown savings results that could threaten the current and future supply of cost-saving generic pharmaceutical products and the industry's significant jobs and investments in Quebec.”
The move could also create drug shortages and price increases, impacting health manufactures, pharmaceutical roles in Quebec and the entire industry as whole. Keon has stated it will affect “4,100 direct jobs, a direct economic impact of $769 million and a significant contribution to Quebec's trade balance as 40 percent of local production is exported to other markets.”
However, Health Minister Gaetan Barrette has now said that despite its best efforts, the government will continue with its tendering process from the beginning of July, after withdrawing the offer which was agreed with no explanation. The government aims to save taxpayers up to $300 million per year through the move.
Such changes will create increased uncertainties within the pharmaceutical sector across Canada. Patients could be given a different brand for their ongoing health needs, such as diabetes, which could cause anxiety or upset within Quebec’s ageing population. This will also put each company in an uncomfortable position. Without bidding, they will lose revenue and be priced out of the market – however, to encourage this tendering process will not go down well with the Canadian public and reduce the creation of new drugs for patients.
Christophe Augé, president of the Association Professionnelle des Pharmaciens Salariés du Québec, has said: “Pharmacists will have to explain to patients why their drug brands are being changed and why certain drugs are no longer available. Managing drug ordering will also become more complex for pharmacists.”
The news will also impact Canada’s long-term discussions to develop a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, concerns surrounding how the pharmaceutical industry will fit into the proposed plans with regards to intellectual property and European regulations has yet again been put under scrutiny.
Family doctors should give COVID vaccine, survey finds
A new survey has found that doctors believe patients would be more open to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine if it was administered by a trusted doctor.
The research by Sermo, a social media network for clinicians, was carried out among 3,329 physicians from around the world. It found that nearly 70% said that if they could administer the vaccine to reluctant patients themselves, they believe they would feel more comfortable about getting vaccinated.
Additionally, nearly half of the people surveyed said that their ability to discuss the benefits of vaccination and answer patients' questions during appointments could help increase their willingness to get vaccinated.
The survey results are released as infection rates rise among people who have not received the vaccine. In the US Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called the latest surge "a pandemic of the unvaccinated".
Sermo’s COVID-19 Real Time Barometer also showed 65% of physicians believe that vaccinating children is essential for long-term control of the virus. Other findings include:
* 55% of physicians say their patients are more reluctant to vaccinate their children than themselves due to fear of adverse effects
* 60% believe a one-dose vial that administered at their office during appointments would be beneficial in continuing to administer vaccinations
* 81% believe that paediatricians and family doctors are in the best position to vaccinate children
Respondents also said resources and information should be created to educate their patient base and parents about the importance of getting vaccinated.
“Our survey reveals that physicians worldwide feel strongly that they can and perhaps, should, play a very important role in driving COVID vaccination uptake,” said Peter Kirk, Sermo's CEO.
“The trust they have built with their patients, combined with the ability to counsel, answer questions, ease concerns and provide assurances could help patients overcome their hesitancy to be vaccinated. Allowing physicians to vaccinate their own patients has the potential to increase vaccine rates.”