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Changes to special authorization process

July 14, 2009

A number of changes to the special authorization process became effective on July 1, 2009.

For full details, see the information package mailed to pharmacies from Alberta Blue Cross or the July 1, 2009 Alberta Health and Wellness Drug Benefit List or visit the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association (RxA) website.


  • Coverage will be provided for seven drugs that are designated as second or third choice alternatives if the first-line drug has been used by the patient.
  • Forty-eight special authorization drugs can be automatically renewed when the drug is used on a regular basis.
  • Special authorization will be extended to 24 months for three drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Six drugs will move to open benefit status; special authorization will no longer be required.
  • Leflunomide, a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, will change to restricted listing status (covered when prescribed by select specialists).

If you have further questions about these enhancements or to obtain additional copies of the Special Authorization brochure for your customers, please call your pharmacy services representative at Alberta Blue Cross at 780-498-8370 or FAX 780-498-8406 (Edmonton and area), 403-294-4041 (Calgary and area), or 1-800-361-9632 or FAX 1-877-305-9911 (toll-free).

Originally published in the July 14, 2009, issue of The Link