Limited coverage drugs – obeticholic acid

Last updated on October 6, 2022

Generic name:

obeticholic acid


5 mg, 10 mg



Special Authority criteria

Approval period


For the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) when prescribed by gastroenterologist or hepatologist, in combination with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in adults with an inadequate response to UDCA, or as monotherapy in adults unable to tolerate UDCA, when:

  • The patient has a confirmed diagnosis of PBC, defined as positive antimitochondrial antibodies or liver biopsy results consistent with PBC.

  • The patient has received UDCA for a minimum of 12 months and has experienced an inadequate response to UDCA and can benefit from the addition of obeticholic acid.
    An inadequate response is defined as:
    • alkaline phosphatase (ALP) ≥ 1.67 x upper limit of normal (ULN) and/or
    • bilirubin > ULN and < 2 x ULN and/or
    • evidence of compensated cirrhosis

  • The patient has experienced documented and unmanageable intolerance to UDCA and may benefit from switching therapy to obeticholic acid.

12 months


The patient continues to benefit from treatment with obeticholic acid, as evidenced by:

  • Reduction in ALP level to <1.67 x ULN

  • 15% reduction in the ALP level compared with values before beginning treatment with obeticholic acid.

12 months

Practitioner exemptions

  • There are no practitioner exemptions.

Special notes

  • None.

Special Authority request form(s)