Sunday, July 12, 2009

Drug spending continues to rise: OECD

From the London (Ont.) Free Press:
Spending on prescription and non-prescription drugs continues to rise in Canada, making us the second-highest per-capita drug spender among western nations.

But the pharmaceutical industry says it’s money well used because effective new drugs can reduce costs in other parts of the health-care system.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development figures show Canada’s pharmaceutical spending averaged $691 US per person in 2007, up from $644 the previous year. In 1960, the first year for which the OECD compiled data, Canadians spent just $16 apiece on pharmaceuticals.

The top spender in 2007 was the United States, at $878 per capita.

Canadian drug spending also rose slightly as a slice of overall health spending, to 17.7% of the total. It’s been inching up since the early ’60s, when it was 12.9%. The figure includes medical “non-durables” such as bandages and vitamins, not just prescription drugs. ...more

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