Pricey specialty drugs increasingly dominate Canadian landscape: report

Specialty drugs dominate market: report

OTTAWA — New findings suggest high-priced specialty drugs are increasingly dominating the new drug landscape in Canada.

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board — an independent quasi-judicial body that monitors drug costs in Canada — says the drugs that account for the vast majority of new sales internationally are available in Canada.

The board’s report found high-priced drugs dominated in 2015, including many biologic, oncology and orphan drugs — pharmaceuticals designed to treat rare medical conditions.

The panel looked at drugs in Canadian and international markets between January 2009 and December 2014, reviewing issues including pricing, sales and availability in the last quarter of 2015.

It says the average time between a drug’s availability in its country of origin and its appearance on the Canadian market is well within the timelines in the U.S. and Europe.

The report says new drugs that are not available in Canada represented only three per cent of international new drug sales.

The Canadian Press