Mylan Pharmaceuticals ULC, the Canadian subsidiary of Mylan Inc., announced today the introduction of a new online resource, ChoosingGenerics.ca, to help Canadians learn more about the value, reliability and quality of generic pharmaceuticals. The website is a public awareness tool that seeks to dispel common misconceptions and help Canadians learn more about the benefits of generic drugs.
ChoosingGenerics.ca provides helpful information and printer-friendly resources for consumers. The website is divided into three sections to help visitors learn the facts about generic drugs, understand the cost savings associated with choosing a generic instead of a brand equivalent and get helpful tools to talk to physicians and pharmacists about prescription medications. The site also includes a personal medication tracker and instructions on how to read a prescription drug label. Available in English and French, the resource provides a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions and "myths and facts" to help consumers gain a better understanding of the advantages of generic pharmaceuticals.
"One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to pharmaceutical products is that if it costs more, then it must be of better quality," said Richard Guest, President of Mylan Inc.'s business in Canada. "This idea couldn't be more wrong. Generic drugs are every bit as safe, potent and effective as brand name drugs. Generic drug companies have been providing patients in Canada with safe and affordable medicines for more than 50 years."
Generic manufacturers must demonstrate to Health Canada that a drug is "bioequivalent" to the brand version, meaning that it is equal in dosage, safety, strength, quality, the way it works in the body and the way it is taken. Many Canadians are not aware of the efficacy of generic drugs and, as a result, end up spending more on brand drugs when they don't need to.
"In 2011, generic drugs filled more than 60% of all prescriptions dispensed in Canada and helped save consumers, governments and employers nearly $8.5 billion," said Jim Keon, President of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA). "They are one of the best ways to reduce health care costs while maintaining the same quality of medication. Consumers should get into the habit of asking their doctor and pharmacists about generic drug options."
In Canada, generic drugs cost consumers an average of 60% less than their brand name counterparts. With provincial governments paying for about half of all dispensed prescription drugs, tax payers can save the health care system, and ultimately themselves, a great deal of money by opting for generic drugs. In addition, Canadian companies spend an average of $200 million per week on prescription drugs - a cost that continues to rise. As a result, offering benefit plans that cover prescription costs is increasingly difficult for employers. While employees covered under a benefit plan may not feel the pinch at the pharmacy, they end up paying through reduced employee benefits and salaries. To put this into perspective, for each 1% increase in generic drug use, Canadians can save $262 million.
MYLAN PHARMACEUTICALS ULC