How It Began

In the summer of 2011, Jayson worked as a pharmacy student with Tony in Peace River. One day Dr. Kolber stopped by for a visit. He mentioned, in passing, “Boy, it would be great to have a list of common drugs and what they cost.”

As pharmacists, Tony and Jayson couldn’t agree more. We don’t mind calling busy, hard working doctors with deep clinical questions but always feel like bothers if it is about coverage limitations or price concerns. So, as preceptors so often do to students, Tony told Jayson to do all the grunt work. Then Tony took all the credit for the work and presented it as his own to Dr. Kolber. Dr. Kolber forgot he mentioned the idea but loved it nonetheless and proposed making it even bigger by bringing it to the ACFP.

Thus began our collaboration. Jayson has since become a fully licensed pharmacist so Tony does the grunt work and, as recompense, lists Jayson as a co-author. In sincerity, lots of consideration, research, and extensive editing goes into this document by all the authors, our professional colleagues, and the great team at ACFP. Tina and Mike have been helping out with the document for a few years – and we eventually included them as authors.

First published by the ACFP in 2013, the Price Comparison of Commonly Prescribed Pharmaceuticals in Alberta (often referred to as the Pricing Document) compares pricing of commonly prescribed drugs in Alberta. Developed and produced by the leadership and discernment of Dr. Michael Kolber and pharmacists, Jayson Lee, and Tony Nickonchuk, the Pricing Doc has become an invaluable tool for primary care providers and family physicians when seeking affordable drug choices for their patients.

The Pricing Document web application was funded in 2019 by a Northern Alberta Academic Family Medicine Fund (NAFMASc) grant from the University of Alberta Department of Family Medicine and the ACFP. Today, this product is a result of a collaborative effort between the authors, the PEER Team, the Alberta College of Family Physicians and the Pharmaceutical Product and Pricing Administration team, and Alberta Blue Cross. This product does not receive funding from any other sources.