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Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) report upward trend of high-cost drugs

CIHI: On December 17, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) published statistics on drug spending, finding that in 2018, around 40% of drug spending was spent on 2% of beneficiaries. Out of this 2%, three out of five individuals used a drug therapy that cost $10,000 or more per year (e.g. antivirals or biologics for rheumatoid arthritis/Crohn’s disease). The top increases in drug spending over the past 5 years were for drug classes with average annual costs of $10,000 or more.

PMPRB Meds Entry Watch: In January 2020, the PMPRB released the Meds Entry Watch 2018, which analyzes information about medicines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and/or Health Canada in 2017 and 2018.

Consistent with the CIHI report, one of the key findings is the continued upward trend in the entry of high-cost products (such as orphan drugs and oncology products), with nearly two thirds of the medicines approved internationally in 2017 having treatment costs over $10,000 per year, or $5,000 per 28-day cycle for oncology medicines.

The preceding is intended as a timely update on Canadian intellectual property and technology law. The content is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. To obtain such advice, please communicate with our offices directly.