Retina Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Program

On October 1, 2015, Alberta Health launched the Retina Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Program for Intraocular Disease (RAPID) pilot project in partnership with the Retinal Society of Alberta. RAPID allows patients with certain eye conditions to be treated with Avastin or Lucentis to prevent vision loss. Effective August 1, 2017, another drug, Eylea, was added to the RAPID program.

The cost of all 3 drugs will continue to be covered and there will be no co-payments. This will save seniors $25 per treatment, or $300 per year for most patients. The program also allows patients enrolled in the program to receive treatment directly from their doctors, which simplifies their access to care.

The cost of Lucentis and Eylea will continue to be covered for patients who are members of a government-sponsored drug plan and are treated by a physician who is not a member of the Retina Society of Alberta.

  • Talk to your retina specialist about the pilot project.

More information

  • All Albertans, with valid Alberta Health Care coverage, will be eligible for the pilot project at no cost.
  • Treatment decisions will continue to be made by physicians.
  • Patients and their physicians may choose whether they wish to use Avastin, Lucentis or Eylea.
  • Avastin is a lower-cost drug.
  • Six other provinces and territories also cover the cost of Avastin for certain eye conditions.
  • The Retina Society of Alberta is partnering with government on the program.
  • All patients participating in the program, regardless of which drug they use, will be monitored, both for the safety and effectiveness of their treatment.
  • Quality assurance requirements for the three drugs are established by the safety and monitoring program.
  • There is extensive, independent clinical evidence that supports the use of Avastin in the eye.