Saturday, April 18, 2009

Drug costs smother health care in Quebec

From the Montreal Gazette:
Quebec spends far more on prescription drugs than any other province or territory in Canada – a factor that’s to blame for spiralling health-care costs, a new study reveals.

More disturbing, Quebec has gone from spending the least of any province on medications in 1985 – as a percentage of its total health-care expenditures – to the most last year, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

“This surprises me a lot, because Quebec had stayed within the Canadian average until 2005-2006,” said André Côté, a drug-policy expert at Université Laval.

“The spending is very high and hasn’t stopped going up.”

The study found that Quebec spent almost $963 per capita on medications last year, an increase of 8.1 per cent since 2007. By comparison, Ontario spent $924 per capita last year, up by 5.9 per cent.

The Canadian average was $897 per person. ...more

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