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Keyword: Biologics

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Copyright_Aleksandr Kalugin_123RF

Canadians’ health priorities are shifting as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, as claims for medications to treat mental-health conditions continued to rise in 2020, along with claims for specialty drugs designed to treat rarer, yet increasingly chronic diseases, according to Telus Health’s annual drug trends report. There were noticeable shifts in the utilization of mental-health […]

The growing use of specialty medications among plan members continued to drive the increase in plan sponsors’ drug plan costs last year, well eclipsing the increase in traditional drug spending, according to Telus Health. Canadian plan sponsors’ drug spending on insured plan members between the ages of 25 and 64 increased 3.6 per cent in […]

Copyright_Mikhail Tsikhanovich_123RF

The New Brunswick government is expanding the use of biosimilars for certain chronic conditions in its public drug plans. Approximately 3,000 beneficiaries of the province’s drug plans who are living with diseases such as inflammatory arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and psoriasis will have until Nov. 30 to switch from a biologic to the biosimilar […]

  • By: Staff
  • April 23, 2021 April 26, 2021
  • 15:00

With Canadian biologic drug sales growing at a rate of 13 per cent annually over the last 10 years, plan sponsors are looking for ways to manage the related costs — and the introduction of biosimilars may help. At a recent Pfizer-sponsored webinar hosted by Benefits Canada, “Evidence to Policy — Biosimilar Transitioning in Canada,” two […]

How plan sponsors can contain rising drug costs in 2021

With drug costs for plan sponsors steadily rising in recent years, keeping budgets down is top of mind as they plan for 2021. “The biggest concern for plan sponsors is sustainability,” said Shawn O’Brien, principal of data enablement and drug, health, dental product roadmap for Telus Health, in a press release. “They have to find a […]

  • By: Staff
  • December 18, 2020 April 23, 2021
  • 09:03
A legislative update on provincial biosimilar policies

When the City of Toronto switched benefits plan insurers in 2017, it changed its coverage for biologics and biosimilars. Under its previous plan, the City reimbursed employees for the drugs their doctors recommended and prescribed; now, it follows its new insurer’s mandatory biosimilars policy, while grandfathering any plan member who was already taking a biologic […]

How are insurers using block-level contract amendments to control drug costs?

An upcoming Sun Life Canada drug plan change that will be implemented outside of plan sponsors’ renewal periods is calling attention to the practice of block-level contract amendments. Sun Life is set to implement the first phase of its reference drug program on Oct. 1, which the insurer says will help plan sponsors with drug plan sustainability by creating categories […]

Mental-health conditions, specialty meds driving drug plan cost increases in 2019: report

Private drug plans saw the largest yearly increase in their average eligible costs in 2019, according to Telus Health’s annual drug trends report. The report attributed the rise to a jump in the use and cost of specialty drugs and a growth in younger Canadians using medication for mental-health challenges. It also noted the repeal of the OHIP+ program […]

  • By: Staff
  • July 9, 2020 November 12, 2020
  • 10:00
Drug plan considerations during the coronavirus pandemic

With providers of dental and paramedical services closed, many aspects of the benefits plans are seeing reduced use. But drug plan spending is continuing unabated — and experts say new concerns are coming up during the crisis. Plan sponsors that have implemented 90-day supplies as a cost-control measure may have to see if their plan can be adapted during […]

Proposed changes to Ontario drug rules target generics pricing, biosimilar listing process

Ontario has proposed amendments to provincial drug regulations that aim to change the pricing model for generic drugs and simplify the process for the province’s drug formulary to list biosimilars. Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care said the changes are aimed at reducing the “administrative burden” for drug manufacturers and pharmacies. With regards to […]

  • By: Staff
  • November 14, 2019 November 12, 2020
  • 09:00