OTTAWA, May 6 /CNW/ - The following is a statement by Russell Williams President of Canada's
Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) regarding the report
entitled Drug Expenditure in Canada, 1985 to 2010, released by the
Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).
"The CIHI report indicating that growth in drug spending in Canada is at
its lowest level in 14 years should put to rest the myth that new
medicines are a threat to the sustainability of Canada's health care
"Total spending on prescription and non-prescription drugs increased by
an estimated at 4.8% between 2009 and 2010. This is about half of the
rate of increase between 2000 and 2005 and the lowest rate since 1996.
This indicates that drugs are no longer the fastest growing component
of spending on health care and the level of increases in drug budgets
continues to fall despite our aging population.
"New medicines and vaccines represent one of most cost-effective health
interventions in the prevention and treatment of disease. They help
reduce wait times and can keep people out of emergency rooms and
hospitals allowing patients to live healthier, longer and more
"CIHI defines pharmaceutical expenditures as prescribed and
non-prescribed medicines, which includes personal health supplies, over
the counter drugs, dispensing fees, markups and appropriate taxes. We
acknowledge that CIHI has begun to break out private non-prescription
and private prescription spending in its report. We would urge them to
provide more clarity in breaking down the components of public
prescription drug spending as it currently includes non-drug health
products. Canadians would also be better informed if CIHI could also
break out growth in spending for brand and generic drugs because we
know that growth in brand spending has slowed more dramatically than
overall drug spending.
"Although the report states that total drug expenditures make up 16.3
per cent of total health expenditures, this should be further broken
down to tell Canadians how much brand and generic drugs make up of
total public expenditures on health.
"The CIHI report shows public spending on drugs in Canada as a total of
drug expenditures was 38.4% which was the second lowest of the 26 OECD
countries studied. Only the U.S has a lower percentage of public
"As drug spending continues to level off, governments have an
opportunity to invest in the new scientific discoveries so that
Canadians have access to the right medication at the right time.
"The Rx&D International Report on Access to Medicines found that
Canadians who rely on public drug plans do not have the same level of
coverage for new medicines as those in other OECD countries, nor do
they have access to the same level of coverage as those who have
private insurance through their employers. In fact, Canada ranked 23rd
out of 29 countries in terms of coverage of new treatments for cancer,
diabetes and other diseases.
"The research based pharmaceutical community also contributes to better
managing health costs by supporting chronic disease management and
appropriate utilization programs. Our industry generates 60,000 jobs in
the overall economy and funds 27% of all health science research and
development in Canada."
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
SOURCE CANADA'S RESEARCH-BASED PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES (RX
For further information:
Mike Murphy, Communications