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Top 10 most expensive drugs in Canadian public drug plans in FY 2017/2018, by average annual cost per beneficiary (in Canadian dollars)*
Top 10 expensive drugs in Canada by annual cost per beneficiary 2017/18
Despite having a system of health care that is paid for by public funds, there are still some medications that are extremely expensive. As of fiscal year 2017/2018, the second most expensive drug in Canada was Myozyme (alglucosidase alfa) which cost about 550 thousand Canadian dollars per patient per year. This drug is used in the treatment of patients with Pompe disease, a rare genetic disorder.

Canadian drug spending

Overall the expenditures on drugs as a percentage of all health spending in Canada have been slightly decreasing over time. Much of the health spending on drugs in Canada is attributable to multi-source generic drug purchases. The top therapeutic drug classes based on the total amount of public drug spending in Canada includes tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors, antivirals for the treatment of hepatitis C infections and antineovascularization agents.

Canada’s health spending overview

The Canadian system of health care allows for both publicly and privately funded health care models. While the health expenditures for the public sector have grown significantly over time, the private health care expenditures have also grown, though private expenditures are significantly less. Within the public sector of Canada’s health system, a significant majority of the spending is funded through the provincial governments as opposed to the federal government. The federal government accounts for a significantly smaller proportion of the total Canadian health financing.
Top 10 most expensive drugs in Canadian public drug plans in FY 2017/2018, by average annual cost per beneficiary (in Canadian dollars)*
Trade name (ingredient)Annual cost per beneficiary in Canadian dollars
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Sources

Release date

2019

Region

Canada

Survey time period

FY 2017/2018

Special properties

Canadian NPDUIS public drug plans

Supplementary notes

* Including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program.
This analysis only includes data for beneficiaries that met their deductible and received public reimbursement. This list of drugs does not include high-cost drugs reimbursed through special programs.
The cost represents the total drug cost divided by the total number of beneficiaries and, thus, may include beneficiaries with incomplete treatment costs.

Top 10 expensive drugs in Canada by annual cost per beneficiary 2017/18
Despite having a system of health care that is paid for by public funds, there are still some medications that are extremely expensive. As of fiscal year 2017/2018, the second most expensive drug in Canada was Myozyme (alglucosidase alfa) which cost about 550 thousand Canadian dollars per patient per year. This drug is used in the treatment of patients with Pompe disease, a rare genetic disorder.

Canadian drug spending

Overall the expenditures on drugs as a percentage of all health spending in Canada have been slightly decreasing over time. Much of the health spending on drugs in Canada is attributable to multi-source generic drug purchases. The top therapeutic drug classes based on the total amount of public drug spending in Canada includes tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors, antivirals for the treatment of hepatitis C infections and antineovascularization agents.

Canada’s health spending overview

The Canadian system of health care allows for both publicly and privately funded health care models. While the health expenditures for the public sector have grown significantly over time, the private health care expenditures have also grown, though private expenditures are significantly less. Within the public sector of Canada’s health system, a significant majority of the spending is funded through the provincial governments as opposed to the federal government. The federal government accounts for a significantly smaller proportion of the total Canadian health financing.
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