NPDUIS Research Initiative Agenda

The National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS) research initiative was established by federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers of Health in September 2001. It provides decision makers with critical information and intelligence on price, utilization, and cost trends so that Canada’s healthcare system has more comprehensive and accurate information on how medicines are used and on sources of cost pressures.

The NPDUIS Research Initiative Agenda reflects the current analytical priorities identified by the NPDUIS Advisory Committee. In 2024- 25 and 2025- 26, NPDUIS plans to publish the results of a number of analyses as annual publications, report series, and other formats.

Annual publications


This publication monitors and analyzes the cost pressures driving changes in prescription drug expenditures in Canadian public drug plans, including increases in the use of higher-cost drugs, the number of beneficiaries, and the volume of drugs used, as well as cost savings from price reductions and generic and biosimilar substitutions. It is a key resource for policy makers and researchers – informing policy discussions and aiding decision makers in understanding, anticipating, and responding to evolving cost pressures.

Meds Entry Watch

New medicines launched in Canadian and international markets are featured in this PMPRB publication, which explores their approval, uptake, pricing, and sales. This analysis now includes a section focused on new medicines that received authorization in Canada. Meds Entry Watch is a companion publication to the Meds Pipeline Monitor. Together these publications provide decision makers, researchers, and patients with information on the new and emerging drug landscape.

Meds Pipeline Monitor

The Meds Pipeline Monitor features medicines in the late stages of clinical evaluation (Phase III trials or pre-registration) that may have a significant impact on future clinical practice and drug spending in Canada. The report identifies medicines from a wide range of therapeutic areas and includes a list of new medicines currently under review by Health Canada.

Report series

Market Intelligence Reports

This series of reports provides short, targeted analyses of therapeutic market segments of importance to Canadians. It highlights the uptake in utilization, market shares, pricing and treatment costs of the related drug class, and identifies opportunities for potential cost savings. These studies are designed to inform policy discussions, aid in evidence-based decision making, and provide Canadians with a more comprehensive view of issues pertaining to pharmaceutical drug pricing and utilization.

Previous reports in this series have explored the market impact of biologic response modifier agents for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, anti-VEGFs used to treat age-related macular degeneration and other retinal conditions, combination inhalers for asthma, and medicines used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The next edition will focus on cardiovascular drugs.

Private Drug Plans in Canada

This series of three reports analyzes trends in Canadian private drug plans, the second largest market for prescribed drugs in Canada, accounting for approximately one third of all prescribed drug spending. It provides policy makers and researchers with information on relevant trends, sources of cost pressures, and cost-saving opportunities.

The first report in the series focused on the generic market. The second report will focus on the major factors driving drug costs and dispensing fees in private drug plans.


Generics360 reports on the latest trends in the Canadian generic drug market within an international context. Canada has established one of the strongest generic markets in the industrialized world, though domestic prices have historically been much higher than international levels. To inform policy discussions and support evidence-based decision making, the PMPRB has been monitoring changes in the generic landscape in Canada since 2007. Building on these previous analyses, future editions of Generics360 will review the decades-long impact of generic pricing policies in Canada.

Focused reports

Generics and Biosimilars

This report will provide an overview of the generic and biosimilar markets in Canada and how they have evolved recently. It will analyze the domestic markets for generics and biosimilars in contrast with those for brand-name drugs and originator biologics. Factors contributing to Canada’s per capita generic spending and biosimilar uptake as measured against similar comparator countries will also be studied.

The NPDUIS Research Initiative Agenda is updated regularly in consultation with the NPDUIS Advisory Committee.

Analytical studies are based on approved research proposals developed in consultation with the NPDUIS Advisory Committee and interested stakeholders. Specific research proposals are available upon request, and any feedback provided will be considered during the development of the project.

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