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While drug-plan costs are increasing for plan sponsors, the causes for these increases may depend on which part of Canada a plan sponsor resides in, says Philippe Laplante, a principal responsible for the group benefits practice in Eckler Ltd.’s Montreal office. Over the past three years in Quebec, the average annual increase of recommended pricing per […]

Growth in chronic disease and increased drug claims are two of the key factors driving up the cost of private health benefit plans, according to a new report by Innovative Medicines Canada. It found that chronic diseases accounted for 68 per cent of drug plan claims costs and 79 per cent of growth. Claims costs […]

  • By: Staff
  • January 15, 2021 April 14, 2021
  • 15:00

From a plan-manager perspective, eight per cent of plan members are living with diabetes, said Dr. Bruce Perkins, professor in the division of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Toronto, during Benefits Canada’s Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum on Dec. 9, 2020. He said risk-factor management is necessary when it comes to […]

Biosimilars, pharmacogenetics helping to shape the future of pharmacy benefits management

Plan sponsors with growing concerns about benefits plan sustainability should focus on a few strategic pharmacy benefits plan issues, said Mark Rolnick, executive vice-president of pharmacy innovation and patient experience at Green Shield Canada, during a session at Benefits Canada’s Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum on Dec. 9, 2020. He recommended that plans […]

Employers should rethink approach to helping employees with obesity

Employers that don’t cover obesity drugs should ask themselves why, said Noel McKay, principal consultant at Cowan Insurance Group, during Benefits Canada’s Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum on Dec. 9, 2020. “Is the risk of driving up benefits costs the reason? If so, I don’t think you have to fear it. Maybe two […]

Drug pricing reforms may impact Canadians’ access to medications

Despite concerns Canadian drug prices are skyrocketing, the Patented Medicines Price Review Board, Canada’s price regulator, has ensured costs for patented drugs haven’t increased more than the Canadian Consumer Price Index in close to 30 years, said Wayne Critchley, Global Public Affairs’ senior associate of health and life sciences, during Benefits Canada’s Face to Face […]

Health Canada delaying drug pricing reforms until July

Health Canada says it’s delaying the implementation of long-awaited changes to Canada’s drug-pricing regime by another six months. A spokesman for the department, says the amendments to patented medicine regulations, which were set to take effect Jan. 1, will now come into force on July 1. Geoffroy Legault-Thivierge says the postponement is intended to give pharmaceutical manufacturers […]

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 December 18, 2020
  • 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 […]

Telus Health, Canada Life, Innomar taking drug prior authorization online

Telus Health is partnering with Canada Life Assurance Co. and Innomar Strategies Inc. to launch Canada’s an electronic drug prior authorization solution. The pilot program will test the digitized process to fulfill prior authorization submissions for real prescription cases and evaluate its impact on process efficiency, consistency of adjudication results and the overall plan sponsor and member […]

  • By: Staff
  • November 11, 2020 November 11, 2020
  • 15:00