What to expect from Canada’s drug pipeline in 2021.

Out of more than 150 drug submissions currently before Health Canada, the TELUS Health 2021 Drug Pipeline report zeroes in on 10 that are likely to have an impact on private drug plans, including a potential treatment for COVID-19. 

Three of the new drugs could significantly impact drug plans: one is a new option for acute migraine, which affects more than three million Canadians and has not seen an advance in treatment in almost 30 years. The other two treat rare diseases: one for spinal muscular atrophy and the other for cystic fibrosis. While their patient populations are very small, their anticipated cost will be well over $100,000 annually.

Rounding out this year’s review of new medications are treatments for insomnia, high cholesterol, multiple sclerosis and Wilson disease. 

Private plans may also see more activity in the biosimilars space in 2021. Six biosimilar options are expected for Humira, a reference biologic that ranks second in TELUS Health’s top-10 list of drugs by eligible costs. Also included in this report is a summary of what to expect for generics in 2021, plus a look at what likely lies on the horizon for Canada’s drug pipeline.

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