In 2013, the generic share of the number of retail prescriptions was 66.0% equating to 379 million generic
prescriptions. Growth of generic prescriptions was 6.9% compared to the previous year. Yet, generic pharmaceutical
sales accounted for only 23.5% of the total cost of the Canadian prescription drug market, totaling 5.2-billion dollars in
drugstore and hospital sales. Canada’s total prescription drug expenditures now exceeds 22.2-billion dollars.
Canadian Prescription Drug Market - Year Ending December 2013
Candian Prescription Drug Sales - 2006 - 2013
As the chart below illustrates, according to 2013 IMS Health data, the average cost of a brand-name prescription is
now $80.88, while the average cost of a generic prescription is $22.11. The average price of a brand-name prescription increased by 38% over the last 10 years. In comparison, Canadians now pay less for a generic prescription than
they did in 2003.
The Average Retail Price* Per Precription in Canada, Brand vs. Generic - 2003 - 2013
* Average retail price is based on total price of prescriptions (price of drug plus any mark-ups
and professional dispensing fees) divided by estimated prescriptions dispensed in Canadian
retail pharmacies (excludes hospitals; includes retail new and refills).
The generic share of retail prescriptions has grown from 44.8% in 2006 to a current high of 66.0%. The generic share
of dollar purchases by drugstores and hospitals has grown from 18.2% in 2006 to 23.5% in 2013. This increased
share for generic prescriptions is as a result of changes to provincial and private sector drug programs which are
relying more on generics as one of the best ways to contain fast-rising drug program costs. The dollar share has
continued to decline since 2010, in large part, due to provincial drug reforms.
Percentage of Generic Share of the Market - 2006 - 2013
Generic Share of the Prescription Market - by Province
The national share of generic prescriptions for the year 2013 was 66.0%. The generic share of prescriptions by
province ranged from a low in Alberta of 63.7% to a high of 71.5% in Manitoba. Drug programs implemented
in each of the provinces contributed to this variance.