In an effort to have some of the community’s questions answered, Eric McElwain, owner of Gananoque Pharmasave, requested the presence of Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark for a meeting in town last Friday.
This was done because of the government’s recent decision to end the old system of providing professional allowances and reduce the prices of generic drugs by up to 25% compared to the drug’s brand name equivalent. These professional allowances used to be given to pharmacies by generic drug companies as a way of compensating them for selling their products. Surprisingly, this system was implemented by the government itself. It was ended due to alleged abuse by some pharmacies.
According to local health manager Chris Couper, most of the public only hear about the reduced generic drug prices, but that’s not all there is to it.
McElwain added that the drugs will indeed cost les, but his store will have to jack up their fee rates as a way of compensating for the elimination of professional allowances. Other generic drug stores will be hit harder, he pointed out. They will most likely have to reduce their store hours, lay off people, and maybe even close down, he said.
This problem prompted McElwain to invite MPP Clark and see what he has to say. After touring hundreds of pharmacies, Clark understands that this recent development will have a devastating impact on these small-town businesses. He promised to work things out.