Canada's top court upholds ban on private-label prescription drugs

Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:50am EST
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OTTAWA Nov 22 (Reuters) - The Supreme Court of Canada upheld Ontario's ban on private-label prescription drugs on Friday in a ruling that will hurt the fortunes of Canadian pharmacy chains.

It rejected appeals by top pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart Corp and the Katz Group, which includes the Rexall chain of drug stores, of the Ontario government's regulations forbidding drugstores from selling their own private-label prescription drugs.

Part of a package of cost-cutting regulatory changes that have weighed on pharmacies' earnings, the rule had been upheld by Ontario's highest court in December 2011, and had kept Shoppers from selling its Sanis private-label prescription drugs in Ontario, its biggest market.