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Alberta Pharmaceutical Strategy Phase 2

News Release

The Government of Alberta has introduced Phase 2 of its previously announced Pharmaceutical Strategy. Under Phase 2 the government will reduce the price of generics for all residents, while expanding the role pharmacists play in the healthcare system.

Generic Drug Pricing

Effective October 1, 2009, generic drugs added to the Alberta Health and Wellness Drug Benefit List (“AHWDBL”) after October 1, 2009 are priced at 45% of the price for the brand name product. Previously they would have been priced up to 75% of the brand name price.

Effective April 1, 2010, generic drugs that were on the AHWDBL as of October 1, 2009 see their price reduced to 56% of the price for the brand name product as published in the October 2009 AHWDBL.

The change in generic pricing will apply to all Albertans, including those Albertans who are covered under private benefit plans.

Expanding Role of Pharmacists

To achieve better patient care, the role of pharmacists will be expanded to make better use of the full scope of their professional knowledge and skills.

Transitional Allowance for Pharmacists

The Alberta Government has formed a joint pharmacy transition team to develop a new compensation model that will support the expanded role of pharmacists. To help pharmacists in the transition to the new compensation model, the Alberta Government will be providing them with funding in the form of a transitional allowance on all prescriptions under $75.

The transitional allowance commenced effective April 1, 2010, and will continue for three years on the following basis:

  • $3.00 per prescription from April 1, 2010 to April 1, 2011 
  • $2.00 per prescription from April 1, 2011 to April 1, 2012 
  • $1.00 per prescription from April 1, 2012 to April 1, 2013
Coverage of Transitional Allowance

The Alberta Government has requested that the private sector (e.g. plan sponsors) cover the transitional allowance to support the changes that are taking place.

Industrial Alliance supports the Alberta Government’s decision to apply the reduced generic pricing to the private marketplace.

It is also expected that there will be savings to Plan Sponsors as a result of the change in generic pricing even when the transitional allowance is included in the cost of the drugs. As a result, Industrial Alliance intends to cover the transitional allowance under its group policies on a standard basis. If a plan sponsor wishes to exclude the transitional allowance under their plan, the plan sponsor should contact their benefits advisor or their Industrial Alliance account executive.

For More Information on Phase 2 of the Alberta Pharmaceutical Strategy

For more information on Phase 2 please visit: