Did you know that prescription drugs typically account for 60-70% of total health claims? This makes prescription drugs the top cost driver for many employee benefit plans. The good news is that there are ways to effectively manage these costs. This can be accomplished through a smart and robust plan design, that protects your employees and your business.
Diabetes is now a top category
The first step in designing your drug plan is to understand your organization’s drug claim trends. We also recommend taking a look at the Telus Health 2023 Drug Data Trends & National Benchmarks report to get some great insights into drug claim trends in Canada. One of the most interesting findings is that diabetes knocked arthritis out of the top spot for largest claims category last year. This wasn’t a big surprise because there’s been increasing growth in that area in the last couple of years, but what’s notable is the number of claims that are being made specifically for Ozempic in this category. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because it has been in the news quite a bit recently for its prominence in helping with weight loss, in addition to being a primary form of medication for diabetes patients.
ADHD and antidepressants are on the rise
The report also calls out a pretty large increase in claims for antidepressants and medication related to ADHD. These findings are consistent across the country and found in a number of reports – Empire Life recently released a webinar with similar numbers, flagging that diabetes and ADHD are trending as the fastest growing traditional drug categories.
What you can do as plan sponsor
We can’t stress enough the importance of reviewing your employee benefits plan on a regular basis. How do drug claim trends in Canada measure up against your employee benefits plan today? Are you curious about your group’s drug spend and how that’s impacting your benefit costs? What health conditions are most prevalent in your organization, and how might those impact your benefit plan design? An employee benefits specialist can help answer those questions. Reach out to us to schedule a call and let’s chat.