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OPSEU supports government action to stem drug costs

OPSEU supports government action to stem drug costs

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TORONTO, April 12, 2010: The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is pleased to see the government take action to curb the fastest growing cost centre for health care – drugs.

Canadians now spend more on drugs than they do physicians, and drugs are rapidly catching up to hospitals as the number one health care expense.

"For too long now the province has been fixated on cutting hospital expenditures," says Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the 130,000-member Ontario Public Service Employees Union. "It"s about time Ontario turns its attention to areas within the health system where public money is being inefficiently turned into private profits."

On Wednesday the government introduced a proposed regulation that would cap generic drug costs to 25 per cent of their brand name counterparts and reduce the cap on so-called professional allowances paid to the retail pharmacies by the big drug companies.

"The savings to the provincial government will allow the province to begin reinvesting in front-line health services for all Ontarians," says Thomas.

OPSEU represents more than 35,000 professional and support staff in Ontario"s Health System.