Special Authority

PharmaCare SA grants coverage to a drug, medical supply or device that otherwise would not be eligible for full coverage. Coverage is provided for patients with specific medical circumstances. Reimbursement depends on the patient’s PharmaCare plan rules, including annual deductible requirements.

Note: SA approval must be in place before a patient pays for a prescription. Coverage cannot be provided retroactively.

SA approval may be granted for:
Drug Type Description More Information
Limited Coverage Medications that generally are not first-line therapies or that have more cost-effective alternatives. See list below to access criteria and forms.
Non-reference (partially covered) For patients who experience an adverse reaction or treatment failure on the reference drug. See list below to access criteria and forms.
Alternative products For patients unable to use the low cost alternative drug due to an allergy. See Low Cost Alternative Program.
Drugs not marketed in Canada For instance, Health Canada "Special Access Program" drugs are covered in exceptional circumstances only See PharmaCare Policy Manual—Section 6.2 (PDF)
Biologics and biosimilars Most biologics require SA approval. Those that have biosimilars are generally covered on an exceptional basis only, for patients who cannot take a biosimilar for documented medical reasons. See Biosimilars Initiative for Prescribers

The usual turnaround time for non-urgent Special Authority requests is ten business days.

The usual turnaround time for urgent Special Authority requests is one business day.

Special Authority requests can be deemed urgent depending on medication required (this could include anticoagulants, oral antifungals, antibiotics, psychiatric and chemotherapy drugs, or for substance use disorder) and circumstances (e.g. hospital discharge, palliative treatment, MAiD, acute mental health or life-threatening conditions). 

The table below lists all drugs that require SA approval. Click the drug name for SA coverage criteria and form(s). Click the category name for reimbursement information. Note that SA is required for Insulin Pumps.  Related resources are Formulary Search and SA Request Forms

This table can be sorted by brand or generic name or Special Authority Category.
Generic Drug Name Brand Drug Name Special Authority Category
abatacept for polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis Orencia® LCD
abatacept for rheumatoid arthritis Orencia® LCD
abobotulinumtoxinA Dysport Therapeutic™ LCD
acamprosate Campral® LCD
acetaminophen 500 mg Tylenol 500 mg® LCD
aclidinium Tudorza™ Genuair™ LCD
aclidinium-formoterol Duaklir™ Genuair® LCD
adalimumab for ankylosing spondylitis Humira® LCD
adalimumab for Crohn's disease Humira® LCD
adalimumab for hidradentis suppurativa (HS) Humira® LCD
adalimumab for polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Humira® LCD
adalimumab for psoriasis Humira® LCD
adalimumab for psoriatic arthritis Humira® LCD
adalimumab for rheumatoid arthritis Humira® LCD
adalimumab for ulcerative colitis Humira® LCD
adefovir Hepsera® LCD
alemtuzumab Lemtrada® LCD
alendronate 10/70 mg Fosamax® 10 mg / 70 mg LCD
alendronate with vitamin D 10/70 mg Fosavance® 70 mg / 5600 IU LCD
alendronate 40 mg Fosamax® 40 mg LCD
alitretinoin Toctino® LCD
ambrisentan Volibris® LCD
apixaban for atrial fibrillation Eliquis® LCD
apixaban for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) Eliquis® LCD
apomorphine Movapo™ LCD
apixaban for venous thromboembolism Eliquis® LCD
aprepitant Emend® LCD
aripiprazole Abilify ® LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
aripiprazole monohydrate Abilfy Maintena® LCD
asenapine Saphris™ LCD
atomoxetine Strattera® LCD
aztreonam Cayston™ LCD
baclofen intrathecal Lioresal® Intrathecal LCD
benazepril Lotensin® RDP - ACE Inhibitor Drugs
benzydamine Tantum® LCD
bosentan Tracleer® LCD
botulinum neurotoxin type A, free from complexing proteins, also known as incobotulinumtoxinA Xeomin® LCD
botulinum neurotoxin type A, with complexing proteins, also known as onabotulinumtoxinA Botox® LCD
brexpiprazole Rexulti®  LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
budesonide capsules Entocort Capsules® LCD
budesonide enema Entocort Enema® LCD
budesonide nebules Pulmicort® LCD
bupropion Wellbutrin® SR and XL, Zyban® LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
candesartan Atacand®, Atacand Plus® LCD
captopril Capoten® RDP - ACE Inhibitor Drugs
carvedilol Coreg® LCD
celecoxib Celebrex® LCD
certolizumab for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis Cimzia® LCD
certolizumab for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis Cimzia® LCD
certolizumab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis Cimzia® LCD
chlorambucil Leukeran® LCD
chloroquine Aralen ® LCD
ciclopirox 1% Loprox® LCD
cilazapril with/without HCTZ Inhibace®, Inhibace Plus® RDP - ACE Inhibitor Drugs
cimetidine - prescription strength Tagamet® RDP - H2 Blocker Drugs
ciprofloxacin / dexamethasone Ciprodex® LCD
ciprofloxacin ophthalmic Ciloxan® LCD
clioquinol topical Locacorten  Vioform
Vioform Hydrocortisone

 LCD

clobazam Frisium ® LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
clopidogrel Plavix® LCD
clotrimazole Canesten Topical® LCD
codeine sustained release Codeine Contin® LCD
cyclosporine Neoral® LCD
cyproterone Androcur® LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
dabigatran Pradaxa® LCD
daclatasvir Daklinza™ LCD
dalteparin Fragmin® LCD
deferasirox Exjade® LCD
deferiprone Ferriprox® LCD
denosumab Prolia® LCD
desmopressin oral DDAVP Tablets®, DDAVP Melt® LCD
dextroamphetamine-amphetamine Adderall XR® LCD
diclofenac with/without misoprostol Voltaren®, Arthrotec® RDP - Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
dienogest Visanne® LCD
diflunisal Dolobid® RDP - Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
dimethyl fumarate Tecfidera™ LCD
diphenoxylate HCI - atropine sulfate Lomotil® LCD
dipyridamole-acetylsalicylic acid Aggrenox®  LCD
donepezil Aricept® LCD
dorzolamide-timolol preservative free Cosopt non-preserved® LCD
dronedarone Multaq® LCD
duloxetine generics LCD
dutasteride Avodart® LCD
elbasvir-grazoprevir Zepatier™ LCD
empagliflozin (with and without metformin) Jardiance®, Synjardy® LCD
enalapril without HCTZ Vasotec® RDP - ACE Inhibitor Drugs
enalapril with HCTZ Vasotec Plus® RDP - ACE Inhibitor Drugs
enoxaparin Lovenox® LCD
entacapone Comtan® LCD
entacapone / levodopa / carbidopa combination tablet Stalevo® LCD
entecavir Baraclude® LCD
epoprostenol Caripul®, Flolan® LCD
eprosartan with/without HCTZ Teventen®, Teveten Plus® RDP (Modernized) - ARB DrugsLCD
eslicarbazepine acetate Aptiom™ LCD
esomeprazole Nexium® RDP (Modernized) - PPI DrugsLCD
estradiol patches Climara®, Estalis®, Estalis-Sequi®, Estracomb®, Estraderm®, Estradot®, Oesclim®, Vivelle® LCD
estradiol transdermal gel Divigel®, Estrogel® LCD
etanercept Enbrel®, BrenzysTM, ErelziTM LCD
evolocumab RepathaTM LCD
ezetimibe Ezetrol®, generics LCD
famotidine Pepcid® RDP - H2 Blocker Drugs
febuxostat Uloric® LCD
felodipine Plendil®, Renedil® RDP - Calcium Channel Blockers
fentanyl patch Duragesic® LCD
fidaxomicin Dificid® LCD
filgrastim Grastofil® LCD
finasteride Proscar® LCD
fingolimod Gilenya® LCD
fluconazole oral solids Diflucan® LCD
flurbiprofen regular release Ansaid®, Froben® RDP - Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
fluvastatin Lescol® RDP (Modernized) - Statin Drugs
formoterol or formoterol in combination with budesonide or mometasone Foradil®, Oxeze® Turbuhaler®, Symbicort®, Zenhale™ LCD
fosinopril Monopril® RDP - ACE Inhibitor Drugs
gabapentin Neurontin® LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
galantamine Reminyl® LCD
glatiramer acetate Copaxone® LCD
glecaprevir-pibrentasvir Maviret™ LCD
gliclazide Diamicron® LCD
glycopyrronium Seebri® Breezhaler® LCD
golimumab Simponi® LCD
goserelin Zoladex® LCD
granisetron Kytril® LCD
glycerol phenylbutyrate Ravicti® LCD
hydromorphone controlled release Hydromorph Contin® LCD
hydromorphone injection Hydromorphone HP 50 LCD
hydroxyurea Hydrea® LCD
hydroxyzine Atarax® LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
icatibant Firazyr® LCD
indacaterol in combination with glycopyrronium Ultibro® Breezhaler® LCD
indacaterol maleate Onbrez® Breezhaler® LCD
indapamide Lozide® LCD
indomethacin Indocid® RDP - Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
infliximab Inflectra™, Renflexis™, Remicade® LCD
insulin detemir Levemir®, Levemir® FlexTouch® LCD
insulin glargine Basaglar™ LCD
interferon alfa Intron A® LCD
interferon beta-1a Avonex®, Rebif® LCD
interferon beta-1b Betaseron®, Extavia® LCD
ipratropium nebules Atrovent® LCD
irbesartan with/without HCTZ Avapro®, Avalide® RDP (Modernized) - ARB DrugsLCD
isosorbide 5 mononitrate extended release Imdur® RDP - Nitrate Drugs
itraconazole capsules Sporanox® LCD
ivabradine Lancora™ LCD
ixekizumab Taltz™ LCD
ketoconazole 2% cream Nizoral® LCD
ketoprofen - regular release Orudis® RDP - Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
ketoprofen - enteric coated Orudis E® RDP - Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
lacosamide tablets Vimpat® LCD
lactulose Laxilose® LCD
lamivudine Heptovir® LCD
lansoprazole 15 mg or 30 mg Prevacid® RDP (Modernized) - PPI Drugs + LCD
ledipasvir-sofosbuvir Harvoni™ LCD
leflunomide Arava® LCD
leuprolide Lupron® LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
levetiracetam Keppra® LCD
linagliptin Trajenta™ LCD
linagliptin-metformin Jentadueto™ LCD
linezolid 600 mg tablet Zyvoxam® LCD
lisdexamfetamine Vyvanse ® LCD
lisinopril with or without HCTZ Prinivil®, Zestril®, Zestoretic® RDP - ACE Inhibitor Drugs
loperamide Imodium® LCD
losartan Cozaar®, Hyzaar® LCD
lovastatin Mevacor® RDP (Modernized) - Statin Drugs
meloxicam Mobicox® LCD
mepolizumab Nucala® LCD
mercaptopurine Purinethol® LCD
methotrexate injection Methotrexate® Injection LCD
methylphenidate extended-release Concerta® LCD
miconazole 2% topical Micatin Cream® LCD
miconazole topical Monistat Derm Cream® LCD
modafinil Alertec® LCD
mometasone nasal spray Nasonex® LCD
mycophenolate mofetil CellCept® LCD
nabumetone Relafen® LCD
nadroparin Fraxiparine® LCD
naltrexone ReVia® LCD
naproxen enteric coated 250 mg, 375 mg and 500 mg Naprosyn EC® RDP - Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
natalizumab Tysabri® LCD
netupitant-palonosetron Akynzeo® LCD
nifedipine Adalat® RDP - Calcium Channel Blockers
nintedanib Ofev® LCD
nizatidine Axid® RDP - H2 Blocker Drugs
obeticholic acid Ocaliva® LCD
ocriplasmin Jetrea® LCD
ofloxacin ophthalmic drops Ocuflox® LCD
olanzapine Zyprexa®, Zyprexa Zydis® LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
olmesartan Olmetec®, Olmetec Plus® LCD
oseltamivir Tamiflu® LCD
omeprazole 20 mg Losec® 20 mg RDP (Modernized) - PPI Drugs +​ LCD
ondansetron Zofran® LCD
paliperidone palmitate injection

Invega Sustenna®

Invega Trinza®

LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
pamidronate Aredia® LCD
pantoprazole magnesium Tecta® RDP (Modernized) - PPI Drugs +​ LCD
pantoprazole sodium 40 mg Pantoloc® 40 mg RDP (Modernized) - PPI Drugs +​ LCD
pentazocine Talwin® LCD
perampanel Fycompa™ LCD
perindopril Coversyl® RDP - ACE Inhibitor Drugs
pimecrolimus cream Elidel® Cream LCD
pioglitazone Actos® LCD
pirfenidone Esbriet® LCD
piroxicam 10 / 20 mg capsules Feldene® LCD
piroxicam 10 / 20 mg suppositories Feldene® LCD
pramipexole Mirapex® LCD
prasugrel Effient® LCD
pravastatin Pravachol® RDP (Modernized) - Statin Drugs
propranolol hydrochloride Hemangiol® LCD
prostaglandin compounded injection Prostaglandin® LCD
quinapril with HCTZ Accuretic® RDP - ACE Inhibitor Drugs
rabeprazole Pariet® RDP (Modernized) - PPI Drugs +​ LCD
raloxifene Evista® LCD
ribavirin Ibavyr™ LCD
rifaximin Zaxine® LCD
risedronate 30 mg Actonel® 30 mg LCD
risedronate 5 / 35 mg Actonel® 5 / 35 mg LCD
risperidone microspheres Risperdal Consta® LCD
rituximab Rituxan® LCD
rivaroxaban for atrial fibrillation Xarelto® LCD
rivaroxaban for prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism Xarelto® LCD
rivaroxaban for the treatment of venous thromboembolic events (DVT or PE) Xarelto® LCD
rivastigmine Exelon® LCD
ropinirole ReQuip® LCD
rotigotine Neupro® LCD
rufinamide Banzel® LCD
sacubitril-valsartan Entresto LCD
salbutamol nebules Ventolin® LCD
salmeterol OR salmeterol in combination with fluticasone Advair®, Serevent® LCD
saxagliptin or saxagliptin-metformin Onglyza®, Komboglyze™ LCD
secukinumab Cosentyx® LCD
selexipag Uptravi® LCD
sildenafil Viagra® LCD
simvastatin Zocor® RDP (Modernized) - Statin Drugs
sodium cromoglycate nebules Intal® Nebules LCD
sodium phenylbutyrate Pheburane® LCD
sofosbuvir Sovaldi® LCD
sofosbuvir-velpatasvir Epclusa® LCD
sofosbuvir-velpatasvir-voxilaprevir Vosevi™ LCD
solifenacin generics only LCD
somatropin Genotropin®, Humatrope®, Norditriopin Nordiflex®, Nutropin AQ®, Omnitrope®, Saizen® LCD
stiripentol Diacomit™ LCD
sulindac Clinoril® LCD
sumatriptan injection Imitrex® Injection LCD
supportive care for cancer treatment Grastofil(R) pre-filled syringe LCD
tacrolimus ointment Protopic® Ointment LCD
tadalafil 20 mg Adcirca® LCD
telmisartan without HCTZ Micardis® RDP (Modernized) - ARB Drugs +​ LCD
telmisartan with HCTZ Micardis Plus® RDP (Modernized) - ARB Drugs +​ LCD
telmisartan + amlodipine combination Twynsta® RDP (Modernized) - ARB Drugs +​ LCD
tenofovir Viread® LCD
tenoxicam Mobiflex® LCD
terbinafine tablets Lamisil® Tablets LCD
teriflunomide Aubagio™ LCD
testosterone cypionate Depo-testosterone® LCD
testosterone enanthate Delatestryl® LCD
tiaprofenic acid regular release Surgam® LCD
ticagrelor Brilinta® LCD
ticlopidine Ticlid® LCD
tinzaparin Innohep® LCD
tiotropium Spiriva® LCD
tiotropium Spiriva® Respimat® LCD
tiotropium-olodaterol Inspiolto® Respimat® LCD
tizanidine Zanaflex® LCD
tobramycin Tobi®, Tobi® Podhaler® LCD
tocilizumab for the treatment of giant cell arteritis Actemra ® LCD
tocilizumab for the treatment of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis Actemra ® LCD
tocilizumab for the treatment of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis Actemra ® LCD
tocilizumab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis Actemra ® LCD
tofacitinib Xeljanz® LCD
tolmetin Tolectin® LCD
trandolapril Mavik® RDP - ACE Inhibitor Drugs
treprostinil Remodulin® LCD
tretinoin topical Rejuva-A Cream®, Retin-A Cream®, Stieva-A Cream®, Vitamin A Acid Cream® LCD
ulipristal acetate Fibristal® LCD
umeclidinium Incruse® Ellipta® LCD
umeclidinium in combination with vilanterol Anoro® Ellipta® LCD
ustekinumab Stelara® LCD
valganciclovir Valcyte® LCD
valsartan Diovan®, Diovan HCT® RDP (Modernized) - ARB Drugs +​ LCD
vancomycin oral Vancocin® LCD
varenicline Champix® LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
vedolizumab Entyvio® LCD
vilanterol - fluticasone furoate Breo® Ellipta® LCD
voriconazole Vfend® LCD
zanamivir Relenza® LCD
ziprasidone Zeldox® LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)
zoledronic acid Aclasta™ LCD
zopiclone Imovane® LCD - Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G)

Other Useful Information

Contact PharmaCare

For questions about the SA process, contact Health Insurance BC and ask to be transferred to the Special Authority team.