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What private plans can expect in 2023 from Canada’s drug pipeline

Developments in the diabetes category—the second largest category by eligible amount in 2022—will have the biggest impact on private plans this year. On the one hand, new higher-cost second-line therapies continue to arrive; on the other hand, dozens of generic versions of the oldest of these second-line therapies will become available.

Two new drugs for migraine are worth watching. As the first two oral options in a new class of migraine drugs, utilization overall may grow among patients who have avoided the original injectable drugs. Indicated for those who are hardest hit by migraines, these drugs could increase productivity and reduce sick days.

In the biologic space, biosimilar options slowly but steadily grow in number. For drug plans with biosimilar switching policies in place, the savings could be significant. At least one biosimilar for Soliris, which made headlines in 2007 as the world’s most expensive drug, will become available.

About 13 new drugs in the pipeline are for cancer therapies. While none will have a major impact on private drug plans, all represent important strides in cancer therapy and add months to the lives of patients, many of whom are of working age.

And possibly on the horizon: a multi-million-dollar gene therapy that has earned the title of the most expensive in the world.

Click here for the full 2023 TELUS Health Drug Pipeline report.