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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 […]

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
2020 Drug Plan Trends Report: Developments, data and design

Taking a look at private drug plans in 2020, a number of trends are converging: spending on specialty drugs is continuing its upward trajectory, advancements in a number of lifechanging therapies are in the pipeline and policy developments are coming at both the federal and provincial levels. In the face of this potential storm, plan […]

Back to basics on drug pooling

How does a plan sponsor solve a problem like a massive drug claim? One solution embraced by the Canadian market is drug pooling, which goes back to the heart of pure insurance. Pooling risk to mitigate certain health-care costs is a long-standing practice in Canadian employee benefits. A benefits plan pays a pre-determined pool charge […]

Capping drug coverage for rare diseases poses an ethical dilemma

While high-cost specialty medications represent about 30 per cent of drug costs, the total budget impact of rare disease drugs is less than two per cent, said Brad McCaw, associate director of market access at Alexion Pharmaceuticals Canada. Within the high-cost specialty market’s top 20 drugs, only one is designated for rare disease, he said […]