Prescription drug costs soaring: report

The national bill has doubled since the late ’90s—and Ontario leads the charge

A report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) indicates that prescription drug spending is the fastest growing segment of health costs. In 2005, the bill for medication topped out at nearly $25 billion, the report shows. One expert notes that keeping costs to $20 billion for just one year allow us to hire 8,000 new doctors or 20,000 nurses or fund programs which might have a great effect on Canadians’ heath. Prescription drugs account for $8 of every $10 spent. The bill for these medications is growing at a rate of $2 billion annually, and has doubled since the late ’90s. According to the report, there are major regional variations in the amount of money spent. Ontarians dole out $837 on drugs per capita per year compared to just $482 by Nunavut residents.


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