Generic drugs cheaper south of border

Higher prices for Canadians have significant impact on employers
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/04/2009

Even though generic drugs account for only about one-quarter of the overall cost of benefit plans in Canada, industry experts say plan sponsors should be concerned about a new University of Toronto study.

“Differences in Generic Drug Prices Between the U.S. and Canada” was published in the journal Applied Health Economics & Health Policy. It found generic prescription medications are often more expensive north of the border.

Author Chaim Bell surveyed six pharmacies in each country. Of the 19 medications selected, 12 cost more in Canada, with an average savings of 47 per cent in the United States. By contrast, the seven drugs that were cheaper in Canada brought only a 29-per-cent saving.