Month: June 2011

Pharmacy

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We’ve been getting a number of emails and calls from individuals who have been warned by local pharmacies that they will not be accepting provincial drug plan cards as of July 1st.

Here is a press release put out by the Progressive Conservative Caucus on June 16, 2011. It outlines the mis-handling of a very important agreement with Pharmacists.

During debate on Bill 17, my colleagues and I warned the NDP Government that it was putting Nova Scotians at risk by cutting the costs of generic drugs without having an agreement with pharmacies that will ensure their survival in rural Nova Scotia.

What we are seeing is our worst fears being realized, by pharmacies not accepting provincial drug plans when the existing agreement expires. I do not hold the pharmacies responsible, it sits squarely at the feet of Premier Darrell Dexter and his Minister of Health Maureen MacDonald.

If you have any concerns about this move, please do not hesitate to call my office or dropping me an email.

Pharmacy customers facing cash crunch because of NDP mismanagement
posted: Jun 16 2011
Baillie, Jamie
Pharmacy agreement talks have stalled with deadline only two weeks away

SYDNEY, NS – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie says in two weeks, people going to pharmacies to fill their prescriptions may find their government Pharmacare cards not accepted and full cash payment required. Some pharmacies have begun to inform their customers that effective July 1st, Pharmacare cards may not be accepted at the prescription counter.

Negotiations between pharmacists and the NDP government broke down when the government walked away from the table, leaving pharmacy owners scrambling to figure out how they can keep their operations open.

“Once again, the NDP have pushed through extreme regulations without considering the consequences of their actions,” said Baillie.

“NDP policies are putting Pharmacare clients at risk, costing jobs and threatening the future of small, independent pharmacies,” continued Baillie. “Individuals who need prescriptions filled will pay the price for the NDP’s mishandling of the pharmacy tariff negotiations.”

Many Pharmacare clients are seniors on fixed incomes and this sudden change could mean that they will be forced to go without the medication they need. Pharmacare clients may end up having to pay the full amount in cash, up front, for their previously insured drugs. Nova Scotia spends $838 per person on prescribed drugs and without an agreement, Nova Scotians might be forced to cover that cost.

Baillie says “the clock is ticking” toward the July 1st deadline and the NDP need to immediately return to negotiations and reach a fair agreement with pharmacists.

During the recent session of the House of Assembly, Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald stated that she is “committed to reaching a fair and balanced tariff agreement that will work both for the pharmacies and the pharmacists in this province.” Cape Breton pharmacist Darryl Poirier, who owns pharmacies in Glace Bay, Dominion and Sydney Forks, says the government is not following through on their commitment.

“The provincial government promised pharmacists they would treat us fairly after passing Bill 17. Instead, they are cutting funds from pharmacies that will result in fewer health services for patients and higher costs for medications and other services,” said Poirier. “Independent pharmacies are now backed into a corner where we may be forced into a situation where we cannot accept Pharmacare cards at the prescription counter if a fair deal can’t be reached with the provincial government by July 1st. This will be a huge inconvenience for patients who will be forced to pay out of pocket for their prescriptions until this gets straightened out.”

Poirier says that the services provided by pharmacists to Nova Scotians have kept people out of emergency rooms and doctors’ offices because they could access the health care they needed from a pharmacist. He says the situation is “a sad day for Nova Scotians seeking good, affordable health care.”

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