03/26/2012 12:18 EDT | Updated 05/26/2012 05:12 EDT

Newfoundland and Labrador to cut price of generic drugs by almost half

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Generic drug prices in Newfoundland and Labrador would be cut by almost half over the next year under legislation introduced by the provincial government.

The price for generic drugs would be set at a maximum of 45 per cent of their brand name counterparts by Oct. 1, and that would fall to 35 per cent by April 1, 2013.

The costs of generic drugs are currently capped at 60 per cent of their brand name equivalents.

The Health Department says it will allow exceptions in cases where the drug manufacturer can demonstrate "extraordinary production or manufacturing costs."

Health Minister Susan Sullivan says the measure is intended to keep pace with six other provinces that have already introduced similar measures.

New Brunswick announced last week it is slashing generic drug prices by up to half by the end of this year.