Alberta Drug Benefit List (ADBL)

Generic drug prices drop

On May 1, 2013, the new price list for generic drugs was released, reflecting government’s decision to lower the price it pays for generic drugs to 18% of the brand-name equivalent, down from 35%. Overall, drug prices have come down and Albertans generally will be paying less for drugs than they were in March.

Alberta Drug Benefit List

The Alberta Drug Benefit List defines the prescription drugs and drug products covered by the ministry's supplemental health plans.

The ADBL is not intended to be used as a scientific reference or prescribing guide. Prices printed in the ADBL do not reflect additional charges such as dispensing fees.

The drug review process determines inclusion of new drug products in the ADBL.

The following drugs are NOT covered by the supplementary benefit health plans:

Types of coverage

Regular benefits

Most drugs are classified as "regular" benefits.

Special authorization benefits

Special authorization is a mechanism to provide access to certain drugs according to defined clinical criteria. Special authorization request forms are completed by physicians and reviewed by clinical pharmacists. Prior approval must be granted to ensure coverage by special authorization.

Restricted benefits

A small number of drugs are restricted to certain criteria, for example: specific age groups.

Drug price policies

Least cost alternative (LCA)

The LCA price is the lowest cost medication in an interchangeable (generic) drug grouping. Interchangeable (generic) drugs have the same therapeutic effectiveness as the other drug products in the interchangeable grouping.

Alberta's supplementary health plans will pay for the lowest priced drug product where interchangeable products can be used to fill a prescription. Beneficiaries who choose higher cost alternatives are responsible for paying the difference in price.

Maximum allowable cost (MAC)

MAC is the maximum amount Alberta’s supplementary health plans will pay for a specific drug product within a grouping of interchangeable groups subject to MAC pricing. A small number of products are subject to MAC pricing.