Confusing, complicated, disconcerting—these are some of the words that advisors participating in The Benefits Alliance Group’s recent roundtable discussion use to describe the market for biologic drugs in Canada today.
While no one disputes the value of these life-changing drugs, which use living cells to treat serious conditions, their cost relative to traditional, chemical drugs has been a challenge from day one. Seven out of the 10 top selling drugs in Canada are biologics, used to treat less than two percent of the population.
“We get many complaints about the cost of biologic drugs, and their efect on stop-loss plans. Now we’re hearing about the biosimilars. They cost less, but are they saving money for plan sponsors? It doesn’t seem to be happening,” notes Mike Skube, Principal at mls Financial Services in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
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