Rise in Prescription Drug Spending in Canada Last Year

Rise in Prescription Drug Spending in Canada Last Year

A new report has showed rise in the spending on prescription drugs in Canada last year. A jump of 0.98% was recorded in the amount of money Canadians spent on prescription drugs last year. Although the rise was the lowest witnessed in Canadian history since statistics on drug spending were first measured in 1975, experts believe that the course for spending on prescription is all set to become a very costly affair.

Michael Law, a health economist at the University of British Columbia, has predicted a rapid surge in drug cost growth.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has revealed through a report that prescription drug spending for 2014 was expected to remain just under $29 billion, which accounts for 85% of all drug spending in Canada for last year. It also means 13.4% of all health expenditures.

According to CIHI, the savings have resulted from patents expiring, lower-cost generics and generic pricing policies by provinces and territories. "Savings from generics between 2008 and 2013 were largely offset by increased spending on other drug classes ", said the report.

Spending of $1,000 per patient per year was thought to be expensive in the 1990s. Now, the figure to be considered as expensive has increased a lot more than that, for example treatments for HIV and AIDS cost $10,000 per patient a year.

Now, the drugs that cost tens of thousands of dollars per patient are considered expensive. "Many new products coming to market are priced in tens, if not in fact hundreds of thousands of dollars per patient treated. The challenge in this new era is going to be setting fair and reasonable limits on what should be charged", said Steve Morgan, a professor of health policy at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health.