TORONTO, July 2, 2014 /CNW/ - New research published by the Canadian Health Policy Institute (CHPI) shows that Quebec's publicly funded drug plan provides the best access to new drugs among all the federal and provincial public drug plans in Canada.
The study compares Canada's public drug programs in terms of the number of new drugs approved for public insurance coverage, as well as the time that patients must wait for publicly insured access to new drugs. It ranks the quality of coverage for new drugs under federal and provincial public drug plans from best to worst.
The findings are relevant to the health of a large number of Canadians. It is roughly estimated that as of 2012, 11.3 million Canadians were eligible for coverage under public drug insurance programs.
The study uses the most recent data from Health Canada and IMS Brogan covering the period from January 1, 2004 to December 1, 2013.
Researchers found that the quality of insured access to new drugs varies significantly between public drug plans. Some jurisdictions provide much better access for their publicly insured populations than do other jurisdictions.
- Quebec and Ontario had the best coverage rates – publicly insuring the highest number of available new drugs, while Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and the federal NIHB had the lowest coverage rates for new drugs.
- Quebec had the shortest delays to listing new drugs for reimbursement on its public drug plan, while New Brunswick, PEI and Ontario had the longest delays to listing.
- New Brunswick and Quebec had the highest number of new drugs listed for full reimbursement, while Manitoba, British Columbia, the NIHB, Ontario and Saskatchewan had the lowest number of full reimbursements.
Overall, Quebec appears to provide the best access to new drugs under its public drug plan. However, it is important to put the performance of all public drug plans in the context of benchmarks set by private sector insurance plans. Other CHPI research confirms that all public drug plans in Canada provide much lower quality of coverage for new drugs than do private sector drug insurance plans.
The study, Comparing Access to New Drugs in Canada's Federal and Provincial Public Drug Plans, is part of an annual series of papers released under the title: How Good Is Your Drug Insurance? It was published at CHPI's free access online journal, Canadian Health Policy and can be downloaded at: www.canadianhealthpolicy.com or www.chpi.ca.
Canadian Health Policy Institute (CHPI) is a non-profit think-tank funded by independent research grants and unrestricted operating grants from public sector, private sector and non-profit sector sources. CHPI is dedicated to conducting, publishing and communicating evidence-based socio-economic research on health system performance and health policy issues that are important to Canadians.
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SOURCE: Canadian Health Policy Institute
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