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ACP’s Pharmaceutical Strategy submission

June 16, 2009

Last week, ACP submitted feedback to the government on Phase 2 of the Provincial Pharmaceutical Strategy. We have posted our submission on our website for you to view.

Phase 2 of the Strategy deals with four main issues:

  1. Pricing of generic drugs
  2. Listing for innovative pharmaceuticals
  3. Pharmacist reimbursement
  4. Drug procurement strategies

The college’s mandate is to govern the pharmacy profession in Alberta to support and protect the public’s health and well-being. Given that, we did not comment on the economic issues involved with pricing, procurement, or reimbursement. Instead, we focused on how the strategy impacts the safe, appropriate and effective use of drug therapy.

ACP emphasized that the overall Pharmaceutical Strategy must:

  • Incent desirable behaviours by drug manufacturers, prescribers, dispensers and patients;
  • Support the behavioural changes desired by all involved in drug therapy; and
  • Empower Albertans to be informed and responsible users of drug therapy when needed.

ACP’s five key recommendations specific to Phase 2 of the Strategy:

  1. Evaluate strategies before implementation to assess their impact on patient, health provider and supplier behaviour.
  2. Develop regulations to ensure loyalty programs do not negatively influence patient behaviour.
  3. Reinvest all savings realized from the strategy in programs that support new economic models and forms of reimbursement for pharmacists, reinforce innovative pharmacist services, help pharmacists transition to innovative ways of delivering drugs and patient care, and/or facilitate practice change amongst pharmacists.
  4. Avoid limits on therapeutic substitution alternatives that may impede patient care.
  5. Pursue drug benefit listing strategies that incent the pharmaceutical industry to be more accountable for the use of their products.

Originally published in the June 16, 2009, issue of The Link