December 17, 2019 — Take an in-depth look at prescribed drug spending in Canada and learn more about how different drug classes contribute to current trends in total public drug spending.
- In 2018, public drug program spending increased by 7%. About half of this growth was a result of changes in Ontario’s drug program (the introduction of OHIP+). Excluding those new Ontario beneficiaries, spending across the country increased by about 3%.
- Almost 40% of public drug dollars were spent on just 2% of beneficiaries. 3 out of 5 of these individuals used a drug therapy that cost $10,000 or more per year, most often an antiviral to treat hepatitis C or a biologic to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
- Generic drug uptake remained high. However, uptake of biosimilars was much lower, accounting for only 12% of use when available. To date, the uptake of biosimilars has been slower in Canada than in other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.