Canadian public drug plan expenditures rose by $2 billion
Sept 6, 2019
Global Korean Post
A new Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) report reveals that prescription drug expenditures by Canadian public drug plans grew by 7.4% to reach $11.4 billion in 2017-18.
Drug costs were up by 8.3% over the previous fiscal year, with expenditures on drugs exceeding $10,000 in annual treatment costs rising by 19.3%.
The growth in expenditures for the public plans were primarily driven by an increased use of higher-cost drugs, renewed pressure from direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs for hepatitis C, and changes to plan designs, with limited savings from generic and biosimilar substitution.
These findings were released today by the PMPRB in the fifth edition of CompassRx, an annual report published under the National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS) research initiative. CompassRx provides insight into the factors driving prescription drug expenditures in select Canadian public drug plans. This edition focuses on the 2017-18 fiscal year.
The study includes all provincial public drug plans (with the exception of Quebec), as well as Yukon and the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program. These plans account for approximately one third of the total annual spending on prescription drugs in Canada.
On average, the NPDUIS public drug plans paid 87% of the total prescription costs for 277 million prescriptions dispensed to almost 7 million active beneficiaries in 2017-18.