Monday, July 06, 2009

Cardiovascular medication costs jumped 200%

From CTV News:
The use of cardiovascular drugs has increased so dramatically in Canada that costs associated with the medications have jumped 200 per cent in a decade, new research suggests.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, put the total cost of cardiovascular drugs in 2006 at more than $5 billion. Statins, which lower cholesterol, accounted for nearly 40 per cent of those costs.

According to the researchers, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature death and disability in Canada, and cardiovascular drugs are the most commonly prescribed medications.

If the pace continues, the researchers warned, costs could spiral to $10.6 billion by 2020 and could threaten the viability of government-funded drug insurance programs.

"This rapid escalation in costs for cardiovascular drugs threatens the sustainability of public drug insurance programs," the authors wrote. "Increases of this magnitude over such a relatively short period deserve further scrutiny." ...more

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