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High-cost drugs remain the primary cost driver for Canadian public and private drug plans, said the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board’s newly released 2019 annual report. Patty Hajdu, the federal government’s minister of health, tabled the report, which found the sales of patented drugs grew 3.5 per cent to over $17 billion in 2019. Additionally, […]

  • By: Staff
  • April 1, 2021 March 31, 2021
  • 09:00
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 […]

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 […]

Economic statement includes new rules for employee stock options

In Monday’s fall economic statement, the federal government proposed changes to employee stock option rules and offered additional support for essential workers. The statement provided an overview of the government’s approach to combating the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, while offering details on additional measures moving forward. The changes to employee stock option tax rules include an annual […]

  • By: Staff
  • December 1, 2020 December 1, 2020
  • 10:30
CLHIA’s Ontario budget submission highlights drug access, inflexible pension plans

In its 2020 budget submission to the Ontario government, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association is highlighting a lack of access to affordable prescription drugs and inflexible pension plans. With respect to prescription drugs, the CLHIA noted it supports the federal Patented Medicine Prices Review Board reforms, which were introduced on Friday. “It is crucial that the […]

  • By: Staff
  • October 26, 2020 October 26, 2020
  • 15:15
PMPRB publishes new guidelines on drug pricing in Canada

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board published its new guidelines on Friday. The guidelines, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021, aim to modernize Canada’s pricing framework for patented medicines. They explain the steps that will typically be taken by the PMPRB’s staff in assessing whether a patented medicine appears to be priced excessively in Canada. The […]

  • By: Staff
  • October 23, 2020 October 23, 2020
  • 15:15

With employers and employees still suffering through the limbo of the coronavirus pandemic, Wednesday’s throne speech clarified how the federal government plans to continue to support Canadians. In her speech, Governor General Julie Payette said the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be extended into 2021. She also said the government intends to shift away from emergency benefits […]

Over the past four years, total drug costs adjudicated by HBM+ have risen from about $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion, while the number of claimants has increased from 1.7 million to more than two million. The inaugural drug trends and strategic insights report by the health benefits manager, a division of Green Shield Canada, examined drug […]

  • By: Staff
  • September 18, 2020 November 17, 2020
  • 15:00