Cost Shifting of Pharmaceuticals from Public to Private Healthcare Payers
Pharmaceuticals are among the most commonly used and important healthcare treatments in Canada. They are also the second largest single healthcare expenditure and are the fastest increasing healthcare expenditure. For employers, pharmaceuticals are the largest component of their health benefits package and employees cite drugs as being the most valuable part of their employer-funded health benefits. Both public and private payers have a role to play in pharmaceuticals management but some evidence exists that private payers are paying for pharmaceuticals that otherwise would be covered by provincial drug plans. This study will quantify the magnitude of this issue in the largest benefits carrier in Atlantic Canada.