A new diabetes treatment is expected to have the largest impact on private drug plans in 2023, according to a new report by Telus Health.
The report, which analyzed more than 100 drug submissions currently under review by Health Canada, found Mounjaro, a new diabetes drug expected to become available in the first half of 2023, could have a large impact on private plans, given the potential patient population and anticipated annual treatment cost of between $2,500 and $3,000.
Read: Fewer plan members making drug claims, but specialty medications increasing average eligible amounts: report
According to a previous report — Telus Health’s 2022 drug trends report — diabetes drugs accounted for 12 per cent of eligible drug costs and roughly eight per cent of claims. The category is projected to surpass rheumatoid arthritis (12.6 per cent) as the top drug category by eligible amount due to factors such as increased utilization of higher-cost treatments and public switching policies that will increasingly result in more prescriptions for lower-cost biosimilars.
The new report also noted Qulipta, a new migraine drug with an annual cost of between $6,400 and $7,000, could have a potentially large impact on plans, while Ubrelvy, another migraine treatment with an annual cost of between $720 and $3,000, is expected to have a moderate impact on plans.
In addition, three new biosimilars — two for macular degeneration and one for blood disorders — that are expected to launch later this year or in early 2024 could provide significant savings for plan sponsors with biosimilar switching policies in place, according to the new report.
Read: 2023 Drug Plan Trends Report: How the repercussions of the pandemic are trickling down to drug plans