Public Drug Plan Expenditures Continue to Rise in 2016-17


OTTAWA /CNW/ - The most recent edition of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board's (PMPRB) CompassRx report found that public drug plan expenditures increased by an additional 1.9% in 2016-17, following a notable growth of 10.8% in 2015-16, reaching a total of $10.7 billion.

The increase in public plan drug costs in 2016-17 was driven by a greater use of higher-cost drugs combined with reduced generic savings and a decline in the use of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs for hepatitis C. Higher-cost drugs (other than DAAs) continue to be the most pronounced driver, pushing costs upward by 4.4% in 2016-17.

The 4th edition of CompassRx was released today by the PMPRB through the National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS) research initiative. This flagship report examines public drug plan expenditures in Canada and identifies the main factors driving annual changes in prescription drug expenditures. The following public drug plans are included in this study: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon and Health Canada's Non-Insured Health Benefits Program.

CompassRx, 4th edition: 2016-17 is available on the PMPRB website in PDF and accessible HTML formats.

Quick Facts

  • On average, the NPDUIS public drug plans paid 86% of the total prescription costs for 266 million prescriptions dispensed to almost 6 million active beneficiaries in 2016/17.
  • Excluding the DAA drugs, patented drugs, which represent the largest market segment, grew by 5.7% in 2016/17.
  • Drugs exceeding $10,000 in annual treatment costs grew by 17.2%. These high-cost medicines were used by less than 2% of public drug plan beneficiaries and accounted for almost 28% of the total drug costs in 2016/17.
  • Drug cost savings from price reductions and generic and biosimilar substitutions has steadily declined from -9.2% in 2012/13 to -2.8% in 2016/17, following a reduction in the impact of the patent cliff and generic price reforms.

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SOURCE Patented Medicine Prices Review Board


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