Ontario’s Product Listing Agreements were intended to enable the province to negotiate down the price of a drug in return for listing it on the provincial formulary.
In return a manufacturer could not sell a listed drug product, for the purpose of supplying a drug product under the Act, for a price that was higher than its drug benefit price as listed in the Formulary. Also part of these deals was a cash rebate to the Province by the successful manufacturer. Although it was believed that these rebates would be invested in the drug plan budget so that more drugs could be covered, instead they went into the government’s black hole of General Revenue.
The published drug price remains the list price or the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, and the discounts are not publicly disclosed. Today virtually all new drug products are subject to the PLA process in Ontario.
individuals purchasing drugs on their own – of which a very large number of Canadians still have to do – do not benefit from these lower prices.
PLAs are another example, of an increasing number, that highlights the need for government accountability, transparency and honesty.