Keeping the cost of your drug prescriptions as low as possible goes a long way to sustaining the ASEBP plan and making it viable. Pursuing this goal is a shared responsibility between you and us, and it all begins by acknowledging that prescription costs are a key part of the discussion.
In Alberta, a prescription is made up of these cost elements (effective April 1, 2014):
Besides applying maximums to a pharmacy’s dispensing fee, we help keep the ASEBP plan affordable with our early refill limitations: we estimate the date when you'll use 70 per cent of a prescription, and this is the earliest you can refill it. This reduces waste and supports safety by reducing your risk of accidentally taking two pills instead of one.
We also control costs in the ASEBP plan with our least cost alternative (LCA) pricing: when an interchangeable drug can be used to fill your prescription, we'll only pay the least price for your drug claim. An interchangeable drug—often a cheaper generic one—has the same active ingredient(s), strength and dosage as the originally prescribed, often brand name drug.
Two drugs for treating high cholesterol, a brand name and a generic, are interchangeable because they have the same active ingredient (atorvastatin calcium):
|Lipitor||$199.04||Brand Name||Pfizer Canada Inc.|
|Atorvastatin||$35.30**||Generic of Lipitor||Apotex Inc.|
Auro Pharma Inc.
Cobalt Pharmaceuticals Co.
Genmed, a division of Pfizer Canada Inc.
Jamp Pharma Corp.
Mylan Pharmaceuticals Ulc.
Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Sandoz Canada Inc.
Sanis Health Inc.
Sivem Pharmaceuticals Ulc.
Teva Canada Limited
* 90-day supply of 20 mg pills (March 1, 2014 cost)
** Cost is 18% of brand name as set by the Government of Alberta as of April 1, 2013
Atorvastatin was introduced partway through 2010 to the marketplace. During the 2012-2013 school year, we paid $530,000 in claims for Lipitor and Atorvastatin, using our LCA pricing. If, however, all those claims had been for Lipitor and we had no LCA pricing, we would've paid $1.6 million—nearly $1.07 million more in claims.
ASEBP manages plan stability and sustainability, however, you have a part to play as well. You can take small actions to make sure both you and the plan remain healthy:
Phone: 780-431-5875 (in Edmonton)
Combining your actions with our holistic approach is a winning combination for the ASEBP plan.