The Australian national publicly subsidized Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme: Any lessons for Canada?(1)
Federal and provincial governments in Canada have initiated reforms in health care in a search for effectiveness and efficiency. Pharmaceuticals have been one of the areas targeted for reform. The cost of pharmaceuticals (including prescription drugs) as a percentage of total health care costs has increased – 8.4% (4.6% for prescription drugs alone) in 1980 and 12.7% (8.0% for prescription drugs alone) in 1994 . Each Canadian province has its own pharmaceutical benefit program even though pharmaceuticals (except for those used in hospitals) are not covered under the Canada Health Act.
In Canada, under the Canada Health Act, the federal government sets standards and a framework for physicians and institutional services, with provinces fulfilling this mandate. Each province has responded differently to the increasing pharmaceutical expenditures. The provinces have adopted various mechanisms to help control expenditures; many have established commissions to examine their pharmaceutical benefits programs . Some provinces have implemented economic guidelines to assist decision-making, and others have limited formularies or added copayments or reference based-pricing. buy ortho tri-cyclen
Tags: Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Canadian health care, Pharmaceutical policy, Pharmacoeconomics