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First Nations & Inuit Health

Drug Benefit List 2014

Help on accessing alternative formats, such as Portable Document Format (PDF), Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (PPT) files, can be obtained in the alternate format help section.

The Drug Benefit List is a listing of the drugs provided as a benefit by the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program. The listed drugs are those primarily used in a home or ambulatory setting.

The purpose of the Drug Benefit List is to:

  • Indicate which drug products are eligible benefits; and
  • Provide a tool for physicians and pharmacists that encourages the selection of optimal, cost-effective drug therapy.

Benefit Updates to the Drug Benefit List are generally issued on a quarterly basis.

A prescription from a licensed practitioner is required for any listed drug to be processed as a benefit. Practitioners are those people authorized to prescribe drugs within the scope of practice in their province or territory.

The information contained in this electronic version of the Non-Insured Health Benefits Drug Benefit List requires knowledgeable interpretation and is intended primarily for professional health care practitioners, pharmacies, hospitals and organizations associated with the manufacture, distribution and use of pharmaceutical preparations.

The Drug Benefit List is also published in print format once a year in April. To receive a print copy, providers must obtain a fax request form from one of the Non-Insured Health Benefits Toll-Free Inquiry Centres.

C6.1. Pharmacologic-Therapeutic Classification of Drugs

The drugs are classified according to the American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) Pharmacologic-Therapeutic Classification developed by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists for the purposes of the AHFS Drug Information. Permission to use this system has been granted by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. The Society is not responsible for the accuracy of transpositions from the original context.

Drugs are listed alphabetically within each therapeutic classification according to their chemical names. Under each drug, acceptable products are listed, see the Pharmacologic-Therapeutic Classification of Drugs Legend for an illustration and description.

A-Z Index of drug products within the pharmacologic-therapeutic classification of drugs list

C6.2. Limited Use Benefits and Criteria

Certain drug products may be inappropriate for general listing, but have value in specific circumstances. These products may be recommended as "limited use benefits" with specific criteria for provision as a benefit under the NIHB Program.

Limited Use Benefits and Criteria List

A-Z Index of drug products within the limited use benefits and criteria list

C6.3. Special Formulary for Chronic Renal Failure Patients

Recipients with chronic renal failure are eligible to receive a list of supplemental benefits that are not included in the NIHB Drug Benefit List but which are required on a long-term basis.

Some supplemental benefits include: darbepoetin alfa products (except in provinces where NIHB recipients are eligible to receive darbepoetin alfa through the provincial programs), calcium products, multivitamins formulated for renal patients and select nutritional supplements formulated for renal patients.

New patients, requiring drugs on the special formulary, will be identified for coverage through the usual prior approval process. Once the patient is confirmed as eligible, coverage will automatically be extended to all drugs in the special formulary for as long as needed.

See the special formulary for chronic renal failure patients products list for a listing of eligible products.

C6.4. Palliative Care Formulary

Effective April 1, 2009, recipients diagnosed with a terminal illness and are near the end of life will be eligible to receive a list of supplemental benefits that are not included in the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Drug Benefit List. The Palliative Care Formulary includes medications used to provide comfort to those near the end of life.

C6.5. Excluded Drug Products

Exclusions by the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program

Exclusions by the Common Drug Review and the Federal Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee

Benefit Updates

The quarterly update is a cumulative listing of any changes to the NIHB Drug Benefit List since last published, including additions and deletions of items, replacement of Drug Identification Numbers (DINs), limited use benefits, drugs with a status change, drugs with name changes, drugs removed from the Canadian market and drugs discontinued by the manufacturer.

The updates are also reflected in the most recent electronic version of the Non-Insured Health Benefits Drug Benefit List.

For access to complete listing of published DBL updates, as well as a variety of related documents, visit the Non-Insured Health Benefits Reports and Publications section.