Northern Exposure: Canadian Seniors Get Less Coverage Than American Counterparts

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  • 04/30/2007

From Ward Health Strategies....

Access to Innovation

American seniors have better access to prescription drugs under Medicare Part D plans than Canadian seniors under Canadian publicly funded drug plans.

Under Medicare Part D, access to publicly funded drug benefits is now better in the United States than in Canada. American seniors, enrolled in a Medicare drug plan get better access to new medicines than Canadian seniors who rely on publicly funded drug benefits. In Canada, only 42 percent of the 33 drugs assessed by Canada’s Common Drug Review (CDR) were recommended for listing at the end of 2005.

But only 15 percent of the 33 drugs assessed by the CDR by the end of 2005 drugs were listed in Ontario as of January 1, 2006. On average, less than one in four drugs (21 percent) reviewed by the CDR has been listed for reimbursement by participating provincial drug plans. Quebec, which does not participate in the CDR, lists 55 percent of these 33 drugs.
By comparison, 82 percent of these same 33 drugs are listed in U.S. Medicare drug plans.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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