The Price of Managing Medavie’s Public Drug Programs
Today I asked questions about the Medavie drug programs. Specifically, I asked for the release of the contracts with Medavie for the Prescription Drug Program and the NB Drug Plan.
M. Coon : Le gouvernement donne par contrat à Croix Bleue Medavie la gestion de deux programmes de médicaments. Pour la prochaine année, le Nouveau-Brunswick devra débourser plus de 200 millions de dollars pour le Plan de médicaments sur ordonnance du Nouveau-Brunswick et pour le régime d’assurance médicaments. L’année dernière, lors d’une réunion du Comité permanent des comptes publics, le sous-ministre de la Santé m’a dit que Croix Bleue Medavie avait reçu 6,8 millions de dollars pour la gestion de ces deux programmes de médicaments. Recevra-t-elle encore la même somme cette année pour gérer ces deux programmes publics?
L’hon. M. Bourque : J’apprécie la question. Ce que je peux dire, c’est que Croix Bleue Medavie s’occupe effectivement du Plan de médicaments sur ordonnance du Nouveau- Brunswick et fait un bon travail. Soit dit en passant, ce travail est complètement séparé de Services de santé de Medavie. Je tiens à le préciser et je pense que c’est toujours bon de le rappeler. Pour ce qui est du Plan de médicaments sur ordonnance du Nouveau-Brunswick, je pense que les montants sont similaires et je vous reviendrai avec plus de précisions par rapport à cela, car, pour le moment, je ne suis pas en mesure de donner la réponse exacte. I will take the question under advisement.
Mr. Coon: Unlike the contract with Medavie for managing Ambulance New Brunswick and our extra-mural health services, the $6-million-something contracts with Medavie to manage our public drug plans have never been made public—never. We do not know whether Medavie has to meet key performance targets or indicators. We do not know whether these contracts provide bonuses to Medavie. We do not even know when these contracts expire. Will the Minister of Health release the contracts with Medavie for the Prescription Drug Program and the New Brunswick Drug Plan?
Hon. Mr. Bourque: I can say—and this was actually confirmed to me by the opposition Health
Critic—that this is a totally separate issue from the Medavie partnership regarding extra-mural, Ambulance New Brunswick, and Tele-Care. This is purely an administrative procedure done by Medavie with regard to the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program. As I said, it is a totally separate issue. Again, I will look into this question in more depth. I need to take this under advisement.
Mr. Coon: I am simply looking for an undertaking from the minister to agree to release the
contracts that were signed with Medavie to administer our prescription drug programs. It is very simple. These contracts were signed specifically to administer the two prescription drug programs—the two drug programs—for the government of New Brunswick. We have never seen the contracts. They have never been released. We do not know what they contain. We do not know whether Medavie has to meet any key performance indicators, whether there are bonuses written into them—even, as I said, how long those contracts are or when they expire—or whether the department is planning to review the performance of Medavie in its administration of those drug plans. This question is for the minister: Will he undertake to release those contracts for the administration of the provincial drug plans?
Hon. Mr. Bourque: As I said, we are very proud of the work we are doing with Medavie, and
that includes our partnership with regard to the Extra-Mural Program, along with the integration of services with Ambulance New Brunswick and Tele-Care 811. We are also proud of the fact that Medavie is administering the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program. It does fantastic work, and we are proud to be working with a New Brunswick company that is seen across the country as one of the best companies dealing with this type of sector. Again, as I said, I will take the question under advisement. I will look into this further, and I will come back with a response. Thank you very much.