CGPA devises route for the sustainable supply of medication

By William Girling
CGPA (Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association) has created a ‘blueprint’ to supply Canadians with sustainable medication...

CGPA (Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association) has created a ‘blueprint’ to supply Canadians with sustainable medication.

The blueprint, which is outlined in this report, forms an analysis of Canada’s domestic pharmaceutical capacity in a bid to ensure that prescription medications are always available to those citizens who require them.

Generic pharmaceuticals, which the CGPA represents, make up almost three-quarters of all Canadian prescriptions and the association wishes to ensure that these safe, effective and cheap medicines remain widely available to the nation.

Calling the COVID-19 pandemic a “wake-up call”, Jim Keon, President, stated that governments, health authorities and professionals should heed the warning of how quickly supply chains of vital resources can be disrupted:

“CGPA and its member companies are committed to working with governments and other stakeholders to apply the lessons that we have learned from the pandemic to make the prescription drug supply chain even stronger and more secure for Canadians.”

Strengthening Canadian supply chains

The report calls the strains caused by COVID-19 “unprecedented” and praises the tireless efforts of Canada’s generic pharmaceutical companies to plug the gap in meeting demand.

As such, it advocates a three-pronged solution to shore against a similar occurrence in the future:

  1. Strengthen and improve the Canadian pharmaceutical industry.
  2. Develop Canada’s standing in the international market/supply chain.
  3. Identify generic medicines that run in high demand and build a national stockpile to weather citizen’s needs during a crisis.

With regard to point 1, CGPA advises investment, convergence on national/international regulation alignment, sustainable pricing levels, enhance generic drug utilisation and developing a sustainable domestic market for Biosimilars (alternatives to widely-used drugs).

Taking up the challenge

Despite accounting for a disproportionate amount of the medicines dispensed in Canada (73%), only 19% of the CA$32bn spent by Canadians on prescription medications are for generic pharmaceuticals.

Although the country is at a significant advantage compared to other nations which must import all of their prescription medications, the COVID-19 crisis proves that there is no time to be complacent in today’s market.

“The resilience of Canada’s generic pharmaceutical industry has been tested by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are proud to have maintained Canadians’ access to the prescription drugs they need without major supply disruptions,” Keon added.

“Ensuring a sustainable supply of prescription medicines for Canadians must be a priority for federal and provincial governments as they consider the economic and health policies that will guide Canada into the future.”

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