High-price drugs accounted for 40 per cent of patented drug sales in 2016, compared to 7.6 per cent in 2006, according to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board’s 2016 annual report.

The report, which was tabled by Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor last week, found the number of medicines in Canada with an annual per beneficiary cost of at least $10,000 increased by more than 200 per cent between 2006 and 2016.

Read: Public drug plans’ medication spending rose 10% in 2015-16: PMPRB

It also found patented drug prices in Canada were fourth-highest among the seven countries Canada compares itself to under the PMPRB’s regulations. Patented drug prices in Britain, France, Italy and Sweden were lower than Canadian prices, while those in Germany and Switzerland were higher. As in previous years, prices reported for the United States were much higher than prices in Canada or any other comparator country.

In 2016, patented drug sales increased by 2.6 per cent to $15.5 billion, according to the report. It also noted that, from 2005 to 2016, drug sales in Canada rose at an average annual rate of about 4.1 per cent. “This is less than the average rate of growth in drug sales among the seven comparator countries over the same period, though as is clear from the figure, this growth rate is heavily skewed by the influence of U.S. sales on the total revenues of the PMPRB7.”

Read: How should the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board be changed?

The first phase of a consultation into the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board’s efforts to modernize its regulatory framework ran from June to October 2016. A second phase is expected to take place this fall, according to the board’s report.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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