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Generic drugs slow pharma spending growth in Canada

BY Michael Johnsen

OTTAWA, Ontario — Last year, $29.3 billion was spent on prescription drugs in Canada, but the annual growth rate was the second-lowest in more than 20 years, according to a new report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information released earlier this month. 

This slower growth in spending — 2.3% in 2013 — was due to increased use of less-expensive generic drugs and related pricing policies. In total, prescription drugs accounted for 85% of the $34.5 billion that was spent on all drugs last year.

Generic drugs account for the majority of use but less than half of spending in public drug programs. In 2012, they made up 72.4% of claims but only 38.8% of spending.

Use of generics is increasing because several of the most commonly prescribed drugs are now available in generic form.

The report also found that the majority of public drug spending is for a small number of high-cost individuals. More than 60% of public drug money is used for 12% of Canadians, each of whom has $2,500-plus worth of prescription drugs paid for by public programs.

 

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Natco receives tentative FDA approval for generic Tamiflu

BY Ryan Chavis

HYDERABAD — Natco Pharma received tentative approval from the Food and Drug Administration to launch a generic version of Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu, according to a recent report. The drug is used to treat bird and swine flu.

The company has tentative approval to launch the drug (oseltamivir phosphate) in capsules of 30-mg, 45-mg and 75-mg dosage. Natco will partner with Alvogen to market the drug in the United States.

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Study: Most head lice resistant to OTC allopathic remedies

BY Michael Johnsen

NORWALK, Conn. — According to a report published Friday in HealthDay News, most head lice now carry a gene mutation that makes them resistant to standard over-the-counter treatments, citing a study in the March issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology

As many as 88% of lice may carry the gene mutation. 

"This gives most of today’s head lice an ability to withstand exposure to the main — and previously effective — ingredients found in most nonprescription head lice drugs: ‘pyrethroid’ compounds, such as permethrin," the report stated. 

 

 

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