Updates to AASUA Members Specialty Drug Benefit Approvals

18 February 2021

If you're enrolled in the academic staff employee benefits plan, the Academic Benefits Management Committee and the university have appointed the FACET program to pre-approve specialty, high-cost drugs. 

Please note, this change is not tied in any way to current budget issues faced by the university nor our bargaining. Rather this decision was made to ensure you have the best treatment and to ensure the benefit plan is sustainable.

Advantages of FACET

  • Quick approval process
  • Excellent client experience as FACET collaborates with your physician directly
  • A clinical pharmacist with expertise in the disease being treated will assess and manage the claim
  • The FACET program has no financial connection to a claim and has no incentive to modify a claim, allowing them to remain unbiased. FACET’s pharmacists are focused on cost effectiveness and evidence-based clinical criteria with no financial incentive to modify a physician’s request. 
  • Most plans are focused on the drug being requested; FACET’s focus is on the condition being treated.
  • Appeals can be made on drug-approval decisions

Only plan members who are newly prescribed certain specialty drugs costing more than $5,000 annually after March 1, 2021 will be impacted. Specialty drugs approved by Sun Life in effect before March 1 will be grandfathered indefinitely.

The covered conditions, process and eligibility details are available on the FACET Specialty Drug Approval Benefit web page.

Cubic Health, an independent third party, administers the FACET program and does not share any of your personal or medical information with the University of Alberta or AASUA.