Vol. 2 No. 11 (2022)
Peer-Reviewed Article

Canadian Trends in Estimated Pharmaceutical Drug Purchases and Projections: 2023

Published November 30, 2022

Key Messages

  • In 2021, our group presented the first forecast of trends in the Canadian pharmaceutical market. The goal was to identify factors that may influence future spending to support public and private decision-makers in predicting the growth of national drug purchases. This report is the first annual update of estimated pharmaceutical drug purchases in Canada for 2022–2023.
  • We conducted a time series analysis of annual estimated pharmaceutical drug purchases across Canada between 2001 and 2021 using IQVIA’s Canadian Drugstore and Hospital Purchases Audit, calculated total estimated purchases and relative percentage change annually for the retail and hospital sectors, and forecasted annual spending to 2023.
  • Total drug purchases for 2021 were approximately $35.4 billion, 8.3% higher than in 2020 (7.3% growth in the retail sector; 12.4% growth in the hospital sector). Spending for the top 25 drugs was 31.2% and 52.3% of total spending in the retail and hospital sectors, respectively.
  • The forecast for the retail sector is continued moderate levels of growth in drug spending (7% to 8% annually), with higher rates of growth (12% to 13% annually) in the hospital setting.
  • New approvals of specialty and oncology drugs and generic formulations of the top 25 drugs are expected to influence drug purchases in 2022–2023. If no action is taken to curb sustained growth in pharmaceutical spending in Canada, costs may necessitate a shift in spending from other public budgets or to private industry and directly to patients.