Proportion of traditional vs specialty drug spending in Canada 2008-2019

Proportion of traditional and specialty drug spending per claimant in Canada from 2008 to 2019*

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Release date

April 2020



Survey time period

2008 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* Spending: Total cost of eligible prescription drugs, including the plan member’s portion as well as the plan sponsor’s portion net of any Product Listing Agreement discounts.
Specialty drugs: Medications used to treat chronic, complex conditions such as severe rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and cancer. Includes injectable and non-injectable drugs and have one or more of the following qualities: frequent dosing adjustments and intensive clinical monitoring; intensive patient training and compliance assistance; limited distribution; and/or specialized handling or administration.
Traditional drugs: Medications that are easy to self-administer and require less intensive clinical monitoring, such as those used to treat diabetes and high blood pressure
Claimant refers to each person who submits a prescription drug claim, including all dependents who are eligible for coverage.

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