Canadian governments, employers, unions, and patients currently spend more money on prescription drugs (about $20 billion in 2007) than is spent on all services provided by physicians in Canada. At the same time, prescription drug spending per capita varies by over 50% across provinces.
Surprisingly little information is systematically collected to determine which drugs account for most of the spending in Canada, what factors drive interprovincial variations in spending, and whether population age is an important cause of spending variations across provinces and trends over time.
The 2nd edition of The Canadian Rx Atlas significantly enhances our understanding of medicine use by providing the first-ever portrait of age-specific patterns of prescription drug use and costs across provinces. It breaks down nearly $20 billion in prescription drug spending (private and public) and provides a comprehensive portrait of the factors that drive trends over time and variations across provinces.