by Janet Pothier, Health Advisor, CMM
On May 28, 2012 a notice (included below) was distributed by First Nations Inuit Health, Atlantic Region to all First Nations communities and organizations. This notice outlined issues related to Non-insured Health Benefits (NIHB) prescription coverage. NIHB, First Nations Inuit Health Branch (National) was engaged in negotiations with the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia (PANS) but these negotiations broke down earlier this spring. Part of the reason NIHB found itself in negotiations with PANS is the introduction of the Fair Drug Prices Act in 20011. The Fair Drug Prices Act was introduced in Nova Scotia to ensure more equitable drug prices for Nova Scotians. The Act regulates how much pharmacies are allowed to charge for generic medications. The Act states that pharmacies are not allowed to charge more than 35% of the cost of the brand name drug for the same generic brand. In the past pharmacies were charging up to 75% of the cost of a brand name drug when prescribing a generic brand. PANS membership insists that this loss in revenue of up to 40% for pharmacies means that pharmacies have to recoup in the loss through different means and one is to increase dispensing fees to insurance and benefits programs. PANS had requested that NIHB dispensing fees mirror the NS Pharmacare fee schedule.
How is it that PANS is negotiating with FNIHB to raise dispensing fees?
PANS negotiated with the province of Nova Scotia last year when the Association requested that ...
Tags: Debra Keays-White, Fair Drug Prices Act, Janet Pothier, NIHB, PANS