New report analyzes drug shortages in Canada and their impact on public drug plans


The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) today released, as part of the National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS) research initiative, the Drug Shortages report in Canada and their impact on public drug plans, 2017/18 to 2019/20, which provides an overview of the impact of drug shortages in Canada, with a focus on the effects on public drug plans. pharmacare of Canada and their beneficiaries.

OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 21, 2022 /CNW/ – This report is the first to use the Drug Shortages in Canada website to provide insight into the issue of drug shortages in Canada. The report takes into account reports of drug shortages provided from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020. Its study period, which precedes the COVID-19 pandemic, will provide future researchers with a benchmark for assessing drug shortages. impact of the pandemic on drug supply.

According to the report, shortages were reported for 29% of drugs sold in Canada in 2019-20. However, 91% of drug shortage reports involved non-patented drugs from multiple sources that could be substituted with a product from another manufacturer. Therefore, only a small number of shortages were associated with a large drop in the number of public drug plan beneficiaries submitting claims. These findings provide important context, but are not intended to minimize the adverse effects that certain shortages can have on individual patients and on the healthcare system, particularly when it is not possible to substitute other products for the drugs in question. by shortages or when the dosage form or strength of the drugs is not interchangeable.

Quick Facts

• Between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2020, a total of 8,558 shortage reports were submitted by Canadian manufacturers, for an average of 238 new reports per month.

• In 2019-20, shortages were reported for 29% of drugs sold in Canada. Generic drugs and drugs with a low treatment cost (less than $10,000/year) had higher shortage rates. No link has been established between the relative price of drugs internationally and shortage rates in Canada.

• The vast majority (91%) of shortage reports involved non-patented drugs from multiple sources, which in most cases could be substituted with the same pharmaceutical ingredients from another manufacturer. Patented drugs and single-source non-patented drugs accounted for 7% and 2% of drugs for which a shortage was reported, respectively.

• More than half (55%) of reported drug shortages were resolved within three months of their onset. About three-quarters of shortages (74%) were reported as “resolved” within six months of their occurrence. Shortages of patented drugs and single-source non-patented drugs were resolved more quickly than shortages of non-patented drugs from multiple sources.

• Most shortages do not significantly disrupt spending trends for public plans.

Health Index publication: 2022-09-22 – Number of visits since publication: 32

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