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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 […]

Employers have taken on a larger role in employees’ cancer care in the past few years, but the coronavirus pandemic changed the game even further, said Tim Clark, president of tc Health Consulting Inc., during Benefits Canada’s 2021 Chronic Disease at Work conference in late February. Cancer is now the sixth most expensive disease by […]

Private drug plan spending increased 5.4 per cent, according to Express Scripts Canada’s annual drug trends report. While up to a one per cent increase in private drug plan spending was anticipated, similar to the 0.6 per cent increase between 2018 to 2019; the report showed a decrease in the percentage of members who claimed, […]

  • By: Staff
  • April 5, 2021 April 5, 2021
  • 08:42

Specialty drugs can significantly improve (or even save) an employee’s life, but can come at a high cost. Over the past few decades, many employers dove headfirst into drug-pooling arrangements as a key way to deal with those costs, while also ensuring employees get the access needed to an array of medications. But with dozens […]

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
Plan sponsors may benefit from using electronic drug prior authorization

While prior authorization can be a great tool for plan sponsors, it comes with its own set of challenges, said Tara Liu, director of drug strategy at Canada Life, during Benefits Canada’s Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum on Dec. 9, 2020. The pharmaceutical pipeline is focused on high-cost specialty drugs, which are being used in […]

Specialty drug prior authorization a useful tool for plan sponsors

Analysis by Telus Health found specialty drugs have grown from 11 per cent of total private drug plan claims costs in 2008 to 30 per cent in 2019 and require effective management to ensure sustainability of health benefits plans, said Suzanne Lepage, private health plan strategist, during a session at 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 […]