Optimizing Innovation Vital for Health Care Sustainability

Compared to developed nations, Canadian public drug plans provide less access to new medicines and vaccines - Rx&D calls for new dialogue

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Despite the demonstrated benefits of new medicines and vaccines to improve health outcomes and help sustain our health care system, Rx&D's 2010-11 International Report on Access to Medicines (IRAM) released today finds that Canada's public drug plans continue to provide less access to new medicines and vaccines compared to 31 other developed nations.

"The 2010-11 IRAM aims to promote a dialogue with our health partners about how we can leverage the full value of innovation to offer better access and ensure sustainable health care for all Canadians," said Russell Williams, President of Rx&D.

Rx&D's 2010-2011 IRAM compares how drug plans in Canada and 31 OECD countries are publicly reimbursed. The report considers a total of 173 drugs covering 213 indications for medicines introduced between 2004 and December 2010.

Key findings include:

  • The Canadian Positive Listing Percentage average is 48%, compared to 83.5% for the other 31 OECD countries (ranging from just above 32% in Estonia to 100% in 6 other OECD countries);
  • The Canadian listing average is also below all 31 OECD countries for 15 specific diseases areas not related to cancer such as arthritis, cardiovascular, diabetes, infectious diseases and mental health; and,
  • Canada ranks 31st of 32 countries for first-in-class drugs.

Public Drug Plans and Our Collective Opportunity

Canadians are living with unprecedented rates of complex, chronic disease across all age groups. It is driving demand for health care services and support, creating real challenges for health care system quality and sustainability.

Public drug plans are a critical element of our health care system, and appropriately prescribed innovative medicines and vaccines play a key role in sustaining it. They help patients live longer and lead more productive lives. They also contribute to the sustainability of our health care system by reducing surgeries, hospitalizations and other health, economic and social costs.

Rx&D's 2010-2011 IRAM proposes six principles that could form the basis for a public dialogue to provide better access to innovative health care options: putting patients first; promoting the appropriate use of medicines; making clinical and therapeutic choice paramount; ensuring that financial hardship is not a barrier to receiving appropriate care; enshrining innovation as a guiding principle of our healthcare system; and recognizing the value of pharmaceuticals in improving patient health outcomes and contributing to a sustainable healthcare system.

Background Information

Rx&D's 2010-2011 International Report on Access to Medicines

Key Findings

Rx&D's 2010-2012 IRAM compares how drug plans in Canada and 31 OECD countries are publicly reimbursed. The report considers a total of 173 drugs covering 213 indications for medicines introduced between 2004 and December 2010.

Overall Findings (173 drugs representing 213 indications in the analysis)

  • The Canadian Positive Reimbursement Percentage average is 48% compared to 83.5% for the other 31 OECD countries (ranging from just above 32% in Estonia to 100% in 6 OECD countries).
  • Canada's Positive Reimbursement Percentage average has hovered around 50% over the past 7 years.
  • 57% of cancer drugs are covered publicly in Canada (50 cancer drugs covering 71 indications were studied) compared to an average of 79.9% for the other 31 OECD countries (ranging from a just below 23.5% in Austria to a high of 100% in 8 OECD countries).

Disease Comparisons (Other than cancer)

  • In nine of 15 disease areas, Canada's public drug plan reimbursement is greater than 50%.
  • In 13 of 15 disease areas, Canada's public drug plan reimbursement falls far behind that of other OECD countries.

First-in-Class Drugs (55 first-in-class drugs covering 72 indications)

  • Canada ranks 31st out of 32 countries when it comes to access to first-in-class drugs.

About Rx&D

Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents 15,000 men and women working for 50 member companies and invests more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

To view the report, please visit www.canadapharma.org

SOURCE CANADA'S RESEARCH-BASED PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES (RX

For further information:

Christine Choury
Media Relations
Telephone: 613-236-0455
E-mail: cchoury@canadapharma.org

Organization Profile

CANADA'S RESEARCH-BASED PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES (RX&D)

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