This study evaluated the feasibility of compiling claims data from federal and provincial insurers into a national prescription drug use database. Researchers found that a meaningful, secure dataset would be achieved even if all insurers did not contribute data. Although the database would allow insurers to compare their jurisdiction’s performance and plan rules with those in other parts of the country, defining the value of national data was more difficult. The only monetary savings would come from reducing decentralized and/or external data analysis and from policy decisions stemming from data in the repository; all participating insurers would expect to continue their regular analytical practices. However, non-insurer organizations such as working groups, pharmaceutical groups, and CIHI would find value in national drug use data and analysis tools. The authors recommend that the next step should include confirming the participation of insurers and performing a detailed cost-benefit analysis.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.