Coverage for new medicines in Canada’s public drug plans, 2015.


Authors: Mark Rovere (Ph.D. candidate); Brett J Skinner (Ph.D.)

The federal government and each of the provincial and territorial governments operate separate publicly funded prescription drug benefit plans within their jurisdiction. Previous research shows that the quality of drug benefits varies significantly between public drug plans. The quality of public insurance coverage for new drugs is an important policy issue because millions of Canadians are dependent on public drug plans for access to their prescription medications, and there are significant health and economic implications associated with access to pharmaceutical innovation. This annual study compares the quality of benefits under Canada’s public drug programs in terms of the number of new drugs approved for public insurance coverage; the time that patients must wait for publicly insured access to new drugs; and the scope of insured access (Full Benefit v. Special Access / other access).

Open-Access Sponsorship

Free public access to this study was made possible by an independent research grant provided by Innovative Medicines Canada (formerly known as: Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)).