Sunday, May 18, 2008

Drug spending rose to $27b last year on backs of new market entries

From the Canadian Press:
Spending on prescribed and over-the-counter drugs in Canada outpaced overall health spending last year, and grew faster than the rate of inflation, new figures show.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information reported Thursday that drug spending reached an estimated $27 billion in 2007. That's up 7.2 per cent from the $25 billion spent the previous year.

In comparison, total health spending last year rose 6.6 per cent, to $160 billion from $150 billion in 2006. Inflation hovered around two per cent.

The institute cites increased volume of drug use and the entry of new drugs into the market, which are typically introduced at higher prices, as reasons for the soaring drug costs.

However, the rate of growth for drug spending has slowed from an average annual rate of 9.5 per cent between 1985 and 2005. ...more

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