J u n e 9 , 2 0 0 4
Cholesterol surpasses depression as top disease category.
Every 6 months, Emergis - one of Canada’s largest drug card
annual cost of $39,000, was prescribed only 249 times during
networks - publishes a report that lists the top drugs paid by
the first 6 months of 2002. During the past six months it was
their network, including claims paid by group insurance spon-
prescribed 782 times for a cost of more than $2.7 million.
sors across Canada. The following analysis offers some insight into current and emerging drug trends.
Vioxx, an anti-inflammatory drug, typically in the top 10, was
removed from the market on September 30, 2004 due to safety
Lipitor, used for lowering cholesterol, is now the #1 medica-
concerns. Celebrex, also used as an anti-inflammatory drug
tion, surpassing Losec, which is used for ulcers. Three differ-
has dropped from #6 to #19. Paxil, used to treat depression,
ent doses of Lipitor made the top 10 list, accounting for $57
lost its patent protection in 2003 and has dropped from #4 to
million paid in the first six months of 2005 (38% of the top 10).
#215; however, this category of drugs is still growing.
Tylenol 3 continues to be the most frequently prescribed drug. When comparing drugs that made the top 10 list in 2001 and However, it was ranked only #134 in total cost due to its low
2005, the number of prescriptions increased by 15%; however,
average prescription cost of $4.00, compared to $120 for Lipitor. the dollar cost of the 2005 list increased by 64%, indicating a
rise in drug utilization, substitution and inflation (together,
A few years ago we wrote about the introduction of Remicade, these three cost drivers are called "trend"). a new drug used for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Crohn's
Disease. Claims for Remicade have more than tripled since
In the generic drug category, the top drugs were only ranked
2001, placing it in the top 10 drugs with an average prescrip-
#38 and #64 in terms of total claims. Clearly, escalating drug
tion cost of $3,528. Enbrel, another expensive RA drug has
costs are driven by newer brand name drugs.
climbed from #43 in 2001 to #9. Annual treatments for both
drugs are approximately $20,000. The onset of RA peaks be-
For the first time in years, depression is no longer the number
tween the ages of 25 to 50 and affects women more than twice one disease category. In 2004, cholesterol surpassed depression as often as men. According to the Canadian Rheumatology
in dollars paid. The fastest growing major categories from 2002
Association, approximately 300,000 Canadians (1 in 100 peo-
to 2004 were diabetes at 157% and RA at 87%. In Q3 of 2005,
high blood pressure and ulcers have also surpassed depression.
Gleevec, introduced in 2002 to treat myeloid leukemia at an Rank Q2-04 Rheumatoid Diabetes Blood pressure Depression Cholesterol Arthritis disorders
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT MARK GOLDASIC AT 905-707-0129 X 221 x BENEMAX FINANCIAL GROUP INC., 2005
L'évaluation économique des maladies chroniques Pierre LÉVY, LEGOS, Université Paris-Dauphine résumé L'évaluation économique est pertinente pour appréhender les stratégies thérapeutiques des maladies chroniques. Celles-ci posent néanmoins des difficultés d'application qui peuvent exister dans les maladies aiguës mais sont cumulées dans les maladies chroniques (horizon de long te
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