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The World Health Organization defines a rare disease as having a prevalence of 65 or less per 100,000 individuals. It recognizes some 5,500 rare diseases, the majority being of genetic origin and often life-threatening. Medical research has yielded significant drug development for the treatment of rare diseases, increasing life expectancy and improving quality of life. However, […]


An article outlining the implications of a single-payer universal pharmacare system was the most-read story on BenefitsCanada.com this week. Here are the top five human resources, benefits, pension and investmnet stories of the past week: 1. Sounding Board: What plan sponsors should know about pharmacare 2. Meet the 2024 Workplace Benefits Awards judges 3. Mental-health claims by Canadians up […]

  • By: Staff
  • July 5, 2024 July 4, 2024
  • 09:00

When considering whether to cover Wegovy, an obesity medication, it’s important for plan sponsors to weigh increased short-term costs with long-term savings, while considering alternative treatments that are also available, says Philippe Laplante, a principal at Eckler Ltd. Plan sponsors that decide to cover Wegovy, which launched in Canada last month, could see a significant cost […]

Institutional investors are navigating two massive innovations, namely artificial intelligence and artificial incretins, said Jennifer O’Hara Martin, global equity portfolio specialist at T. Rowe Price, during the Canadian Investment Review‘s 2024 Global Investment Conference in April. People tend to compare the current AI trend to the technology bubble of the 2000s and while its infrastructure is similar, […]


An article on legal challenges filed against the federal government’s hybrid work mandate for public service employees was the most-read story on BenefitsCanada.com this week. Here are the top five human resources, benefits, pension and investment stories of the past week: 1. Unions representing federal public service workers file legal challenges against hybrid work mandate 2. Expert […]

  • By: Staff
  • May 31, 2024 May 30, 2024
  • 09:00

While the concept behind the federal government’s universal pharmacare plan is well intentioned, the program would make a larger impact for employers by focusing on high-cost and specialty drugs, says Pam Martin, vice-president and senior consultant at Baynes & White Inc. In theory, the way that the government is rolling out the program in small […]


As more insurers turn to preferred pharmacy networks to decrease costs, their efforts are being met with some resistance by plan members who may be finding it difficult and inconvenient to switch pharmacy providers. In January, Manulife Financial Corp.’s move to a preferred pharmacy network with Loblaw Cos. Ltd.’s Shoppers Drug Mart was met with […]

In 2023, diabetes medications remained the leading drug category for eligible private insurance claims for the second consecutive year, according to Telus Health’s annual drug trends report. The report, based on claims data from more than 15 million plan members in 2023, found the growing prevalence of diabetes, along with expanded heart failure treatment indications and […]

  • By: Staff
  • April 24, 2024 April 23, 2024
  • 09:00

A new generation of glucagon-like peptide-1 drugs approved for the treatment of obesity will soon be available in Canada, presenting an opportunity for plan sponsors to meet members’ health and wellness needs. It’s important for employers to consider meeting with their insurer now to find out how the rollout of these drugs will affect their […]

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While preferred pharmacy networks have been around for nearly a decade, most benefits plan members aren’t aware that these arrangements have become standard, says Suzanne Lepage, a private health plan strategist. Preferred provider networks are common arrangements that businesses across a variety of industries enter into to help deliver consistent value, quality and cost containment, said the Canadian Life […]