Private drug plans 'better and faster' than government programs

by Paul Lucas01 Feb 2016
Private sector drug plans are ‘better and faster’ than government-run drug programs at offering access to the newest and most innovative products.

That’s the verdict of a new study published in the Canadian Health Policy Institute (CHPI), which saw several unions and academics, as well as the Minister of Health in Ontario, advocate for the new government-run plan, Pharmacare.

Taking data from IMS Health Canada and Health Canada, the study revealed that from the 464 new drugs that were approved for sale from 2004-2012, just 231 were made available on public plans. This compared to 413 – 89 per cent – that were made available on at least one private plan.

In addition, the study noted that the number of days to insure new drugs was just 132 for private drug plans – compared to 468 with public drug plans.

The study is a follow-up to an analysis made by CHPI in December, 2015. It compared the coverage of new drugs throughout 11 federal and provincial drug plans – it used a different method because of the contrasting level of data that was available.