Generic drug savings? Canadian consumers pay significantly more for generic drugs than Americans
Canadian consumers continue to pay high prices for generic drugs according to a recent report by the Competition Bureau.  Generic drug manufacturers vying for shelf space in pharmacies often offer deep rebates to pharmacies as incentives to select a particular manufacturer's product. These rebates are not typically reflected in amounts paid for drugs by public or private drug plans, or out of pocket by consumers.
According to the Fraser Institute, Canadians pay much more than Americans for generic drugs because government policies in Canada distort the market for prescription medicines.
Since 2003, the cost of generic drugs in Canada has risen relative to US prices, while the cost of brand-name drugs has decreased. In 2005, 43 per cent of all drugs dispensed through retail pharmacies in Canada were generics, and total generic drug spending in 2006 was $3.2 billion, according to the Competition Bureau.
Federal Health Minister Tony Clement said the Competition Bureau report is further evidence there are "lot of reforms and innovations that should take place in our health-care systems if we are going to be able to afford the drugs that we need to buy for patients in future years."