On November 2, 2010, Rx&D published its 2009-2010 annual International Report on Access to Medicines (IRAM), which examines patient access to and public coverage of 150 new prescription drugs, including 33 oncology drugs and 117 medicines for other diseases. The IRAM details both public coverage of new medicines within Canada and compares this to the state of affairs in other OECD countries.

The IRAM reveals that Canada ranks 23rd out of 29 OECD countries in terms of public plan coverage of the 150 innovative medicines reviewed. With respect to reimbursing First-in-Class drugs, Canada ranks 26th out of the 29 countries, compared to 21st out of 25 countries included last year.

The IRAM also investigated coverage with respect to particular diseases. For public coverage of 33 oncology drugs introduced in Canada within the past 5 years, Canada is ranked 19th out of the 29 countries. Canada is placed even lower when considering non-cancer drugs: 24th out of 29 countries. With respect to new diabetes treatments specifically, Canada’s public drug plans cover only 42% of these treatments, compared to an international average of 97%.

The Report was prepared for Rx&D by Wyatt Health Management based on data collected from public sources and validated with public drug plan officials.

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