Public drug plan expenditures in Canada rose by $2 billion over 3-year period

Friday, September 6, 2019 Drug News
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Expenditures on drugs in public plans have increased by an average of 6.6% annually since 2014-15  

OTTAWA, Sept. 5, 2019 /CNW/ - 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.

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • An increased use of higher-cost medicines accounted for a significant 7.1% upward push on drug costs in 2017-18.
  • Drugs with annual treatment cost over $10,000 made up more than 30% of the overall drug costs for the NPDUIS public drug plans in 2017-18, and were used by less than 2% of plan beneficiaries.
  • Dispensing costs in the NPDUIS public plans grew by a moderate 3.8% (or $86.1 million) in 2017-18, aligning closely with the recent three-year trend.

Associated Links

  • CompassRx, 5th edition: Annual Public Drug Plan Expenditure Report, 2017/18. (Patented Medicine Prices Review Board)

Follow us on Twitter: @PMPRB_CEPMB

SOURCE Patented Medicine Prices Review Board



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