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With Canada’s public and private drug market an ever-evolving landscape, what value can be gained from collaboration and innovative solutions to ensure patient access to new medicines and vaccines in the future? During Innovative Medicines Canada’s virtual policy summit in June, Declan Hamill, vice-president of policy, regulatory and legal affairs, said the organization appreciates the […]

For the third time in a row, the federal government is delaying long-awaited changes to Canada’s drug pricing regime for a further six months. In an effort to give pharmaceutical companies more time to prepare for the impending changes, Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced Tuesday the regulations changing how the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board […]

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 April 25, 2021
  • 09:00

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 […]

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 […]

A recent Telus Health comparison of a drug’s cost effectiveness when calculated from the private versus the public-payer perspective demonstrated clearly that the private-payer perspective matters when assessing the value of a medication, explained Dr Nina Lathia, pharmacist, and health economist, at Benefits Canada’s Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum on Dec. 9, 2020. […]

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 […]