Barrett backs community pharmacies HN MPP reads in petitions against pharmacy reform

For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2010

Queen’s Park – Haldimand-Norfolk’s MPP is adding his voice to those contacting his office for protection of community pharmacies against government reform impacting rural Ontarians.

Toby Barrett rose to read in a petition this afternoon asking the Premier and Health Minister: “Please don’t cut community pharmacy funding”

“Rural Ontarians already get the short end of the stick when it comes to public healthcare – doctor shortages, smaller hospitals and lack of transportation,” Barrett stated after tabling the petition. “Now government wants us to pay more and travel further to get the medication we require.”

In an announcement last week, Minister of Health Deb Matthews highlighted a number of pharmacy related reforms, including plans to: increase dispensing fees (to $8.00 in urban centres and to $9.00 – $11.00 in rural and underserviced areas), and increase prescription mark-ups to up to 10% in areas designated as rural or underserviced.

“On the phone, on the email, and on the street, I’m hearing great concern that these changes will jeopardize the future of small and independent pharmacy business in Ontario,” Barrett reported. “Once again despite paying much more for health care – Ontarians have paid $15B into the health tax – they are receiving less and less in return.”

“Even more disturbing is the fact that government is saying the reforms are directed at reining in big drug companies and big pharma,” remarked Barrett. “But in actuality the big companies will be able to go through this fine, it’s the small independents – many in rural Ontario – that are going to be hit the worst.”

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For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at
(519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629