Drug spending is increasing more than the other major areas of health spending — with a large proportion of drug spending going toward high-cost drugs for a small number of individuals.
- In 2018, $14.4 billion (42.7%) of prescribed drug spending will be financed by the public sector.
- About 1 in 4 Canadians received a benefit from a public drug program in 2017. Individuals living in low-income and rural/remote neighbourhoods were more likely to receive a benefit.
- Canadians with drug costs of $10,000 or more represented 2% of beneficiaries but accounted for more than one-third of public drug spending in 2017.
- A Focus on Public Drug Programs, report, 2018.
- Drug Spending at a Glance, 2018.
- Media release. Press relese. Image pharmacyconnection.
In 2017 : $40 Billion
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.
- Prescribed Drug Spending in Canada, 2017: A Focus on Public Drug Programs, Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2017.
- Prescribed Drug Spending in Canada, Report and companion materials, Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2017.
- Total health spending in Canada reaches $242 billion, Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2017.
In 2013 : $29.3 Billion
” Millions of Canadians buy prescription drugs; we spent a record $30 billion in 2013. But the annual rate of growth that year —2.3%— was one of the lowest in more than two decades. This is due in part to an increase in the use of less-expensive generic drugs as well as government policies that help keep prices low. ”
- More than 40% of prescribed drug spending was paid for by the public sector, totalling more than $12 billion. In the public sector, payers include provincial and federal drug programs and social security funds (such as workers’ compensation boards).
- Generic drugs account for almost three-quarters of use but less than half of spending in public drug programs.
- The number of Canadians who are taking more than $10,000 worth of prescription drugs every year is on the rise, because public drug programs are spending more on high-cost drugs.
- In 2012, high-cost beneficiaries accounted for about 25% of public drug spending, compared with only 15% in 2007.
- Almost half of these people were taking a high-cost drug used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and macular degeneration.