Quebecers will save more than $300 million on generic drugs each year thanks to a new agreement with a major pharmaceutical association, according to Health Minister Gaetan Barrette.

On Sunday, Barrette unveiled the new five-year pact with the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

"The money that we are saving will be reinvested fully in services in our publicly funded healthcare," he said. 

Barrette said details of the agreement could not be released due to ongoing negotiations between the CGPA and the Pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance. 

The agreement is the end product of heated negotiations that had led Barrette threatening to listen to bids from other companies from outside the province to provide Quebec’s generic medications.

According to the CGPA, Quebec's generic pharmaceutical industry supports 4,100 jobs. 

Barrette said on Sunday that as an agreement had been reached by the July 1 deadline for negotiations, no bids were submitted.

"It doesn't matter if I go through tendering or if I have an agreement," he said. "The objective to me was to have leverage in order to reduce the cost of buying those medications."

Quebec spends $800 million per year on generic drugs and Barrette said he had hoped to reduce that number.

“This is this lowest price we could pay? Maybe not,” he said. “But the price we would have paid to have a lower price could have been a loss of jobs.”

The new agreement is expected to come into effect in October.