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
- Over 4,000 drugs are listed as benefits
- Read the Alberta Drug Benefit List
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:
- Drugs used primarily in hospitals – these are provided by Alberta Health Services
- Childhood vaccinations – these are provided by Alberta Health Services
- Drugs used in the direct treatment of cancer –
- Drugs used to treat tuberculosis – these are provided by Disease Control and Prevention
- Drugs used to treat sexually transmitted diseases – these are provided by Disease Control and Prevention
- Drugs used in erectile dysfunction (not insured)
- Most over-the-counter preparations (not insured)
Types of coverage
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.
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.