The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist cleared a Canadian-record 2.38 metres on Thursday to get into the final group of three competitors, where he was beaten by gold medallist Bohdan Bondarenko of Ukraine and runner-up Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar.
Bondarenko cleared a meet-record 2.41 metres. Barshim, who shared the Olympic bronze with Drouin, matched the Canadian again at 2.38.
Reigning Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov of Russia finished fourth at 2.35.
Bondarenko passed 2.44 after he had cleared 2.41 on his second attempt and Barshim failed in the two attempts he had left for the height.
Canada now has three medals at the meet. Brianne Theisen-Eaton won silver in the heptathlon this week, and Damian Warner took bronze in the decathlon last week.
Drouin, a 23-year-old from Corunna, Ont.,, is coming off an impressive season at the University of Indiana. He is a finalist for the Bowerman Award, given to the top NCAA track and field athlete, and could become the first Canadian to win that award when the winner is selected in December.
Hughes sets Canadian steeplechase record
Also Thursday in Moscow, Matt Hughes broke a 28-year-old Canadian record by clocking 8:11.64 in the final of the men's 3,000-metre steeplechase. Hughes finished sixth, and fellow Canadian Alex Genest was 13th in 8:27.01.
Kenya's Ezekiel Kenboi (8:06.01) won his third straight world title, just ahead of Kenyan teammate Conseslus Kipruto.
Kemboi, who has also won two Olympic titles, won the race in 8:06.01 seconds. Kipruto took silver in 8:06.37 and Mahiedine Mekhissi of France, a two-time Olympic silver medallist , took bronze in 8:07.86.
Kenya has won every world and Olympic title since 2005 when Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen took gold.
Canada's Armstrong qualifies for shot put final
In the shot put, Ryan Whiting led the way with a throw of 21.51 metres to reach the final. Fellow Americans Reese Hoffa and Cory Martin also advanced, along with Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland and defending champion David Storl of Germany.
Canada's Dylan Armstrong qualified comfortably in seventh with a heave of 20.39, while teammate Tim Nedow (18.72) failed to move on.
Canadians out in 800
In the 800, Mariya Savinova, another Olympic and world champion, cruised into Friday's semifinals behind the leading time of Brenda Martinez of the United States, who finished in 1:19.39.
Canadian hopefuls Melissa Bishop (2:01.91) and Karine Belleau-Beliveau (2:02.93) failed to advance.
Fraser-Pryce in running to match Bolt
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was in the running to match Jamaican teammate Usain Bolt, easily advancing to the 200-metre semifinals Thursday.
The 100 champion shot out of the blocks of her heat and cruised much of the way to qualify for the next round later in the day.
Bolt also won the 100 and has his 200 heats on Friday. The 4x100 relays for both are on Sunday's closing day.
While Bolt is favoured to leave Moscow with another three golds, Fraser-Pryce faces her toughest challenge in the 200.
Olympic and three-time world champion Allyson Felix breezed just as easily through her heat and clocked the best time of the day at 22.59 seconds, compared to 22.78 for Fraser-Pryce.
Felix is centring only on the 200 as an individual event this year and has both 4x100 and 4x400 relays as an option for the weekend, keeping her on track for the same triple she won at last year's London Olympics. The 200 final is set for Friday.
"It was nice to finally get out there," Felix said after she had to sit out the first five days of competition and see Fraser-Pryce totally dominate the 100. "Just wanted to work the turn a little bit, focus on my start and just ease in comfortably."
Canada's Kimberly Hyacinthe qualified in 23.19.
Fraser-Pryce is primarily a 100 sprinter and has two Olympics golds that attest to that, but she said in Moscow that she has never been as ready as this year to add the 200, too.
Gordon, Hejnova take 400m hurdles titles
Jehue Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago stumbled across the finish line to hold off Michael Tinsley and win the men's 400-metre hurdles.
Gordon came on strong down the stretch and finished in a world-leading time of 47.69 seconds to edge Tinsley. Emir Bekric of Serbia was third and two-time Olympic champion Felix Sanchez wound up fifth.
Shortly after crossing the finish line, Gordon fell to the track. Three lanes over, Tinsley, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist from the United States, toppled over, too. They each stared at the scoreboard, waiting for a winner to be announced.
After a few moments, Gordon's name finally flashed on the board.
Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic won the women's 400-metre hurdles, beating American teammates Dalilah Muhammad and defending champion Lashinda Demus.
Demus went out fast and gave Hejnova a chase right into the finishing straight, but the season's best performer left everyone behind with a devastating finish to clock a world leading 52.83 seconds.
Muhammad edged past Demus near the end to take silver in 54.09. Demus finished in 54.27.
Colombia's Ibarguen soars in triple jump
Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia won the women's triple jump ahead of Ekaterina Koneva of Russia.
Ibarguen, the Olympic silver medallist, won with a world leading jump of 14.85 metres, holding off Koneva by four centimetres. Defending champion Olha Saladuha of Ukraine took bronze with a leap of 14.65.