LETHBRIDGE: A group of pharmacists hit the streets in our city Thursday morning, along with groups in Calgary and Edmonton, to protest a provincial decision to lower payouts for generic drugs and funding cuts.
In addition to that about a dozen pharmacies across Southern Alberta also closed up shop for a while in protest.
Local pharmacist Igor Shaskin went over the issues they're facing with funding cuts, "With that cut we're going have to look at seriously reducing services. Pharmacies are already looking at cutting their hours, cutting some services that were generally offered free, everything from pill-pack services, delivery services. Wages, salaries have to be looked at. I mean that's how serious it is."
Shaskin also addressed what he sees as the biggest problem with the government forcing drug companies to reduce the cost of their generic drugs in Alberta from 35-per cent of brand name equivalent drugs to 18-per cent, "The other big concern, which government still even to yesterday denies, is that this cut means many of these companies will decide not to offer some of these molecules in Canada, or at least Alberta."
Wednesday the province announced it would help pharmacists adjust to the change with a $40-million payout.