Canadian generic drug prices higher than international levels in recent years
Sales of generic drugs in Canada rose from $3.0B in 2006 to $5.5B in 2016; at a rate of growth similar to other industrialized countries.
Generic drugs accounted for 74% of the volume of drugs in the Canadian pharmaceutical market in 2016, the third highest among the OECD countries after the United States and Germany.
Canadians spent $165 per capita on generic drugs in 2016, the second highest among the OECD countries after the United States.
Average generic drug prices in Canada declined to half of what they were a decade ago, more than in most other foreign countries, but have stabilized in recent years.
In the last quarter of 2016, generic drug prices in Canada were the seventh highest in the OECD.
Average generic drug prices in the PMPRB7 were 11% lower than in Canada and median prices were 30% lower.
Between 2013 and 2016, the pCPA reduced the price of 18 of the most commonly used generic drugs to 18% of their brand-name price. While the prices of these drugs dropped by 66% over the last decade, their average foreign prices were still 14% lower, and median foreign prices were 34% lower, in the last quarter of 2016.
If public drug plans had paid median foreign prices for the higher-priced top-selling generic drugs in Canada in 2016, they could have saved nearly half a billion dollars, or over 5% of total drug costs, in fiscal year 2015-16.
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