Generic drug makers mount public campaign

By Asha Tomlinson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/04/2003

Generic drug makers say employers can rescue cash-strapped benefits plans by lobbying to change patent laws and increase the use of generic medicine.

The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) launched a five-week newspaper ad campaign in late October to get the message out that generic drugs have significant cost savings attached to them and are just as effective as brand-name drugs. The organization hopes that by educating the general public, working Canadians will push their employers to put the issue on business agendas.

“Nearly half of (drug spending costs) are being funded from the private-sector corporations,” said Jim Keon, president of CGPA. “So, when we’re estimating our savings it would be fair to say nearly half (a) billion dollars could be accrued to the private sector.”