Characteristics of high drug-cost beneficiaries across Canada: A cross-sectional pan-Canadian analysis

Drug costs are one of the fastest growing expenditures in the Canadian healthcare system, and are a significant cause for concern in relation to the sustainability of public drug programs across Canada. Increases in drug costs are associated with both higher overall drug use as well as a growing number of high-cost drug therapies being approved for use. These two factors have led to a small number of public drug program beneficiaries accounting for a large proportion of total annual drug program spending.

This study describes the characteristics of these high drug-cost beneficiaries in 9 provinces across Canada, to inform current planning around national drug strategies.

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