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Definitions (60)

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acute vs. maintenance medications


Acute care drugs are used to treat one-time or short-term conditions. Maintenance medications are used to treat chronic or long-term conditions. Speak to your pharmacist or physician about the quantity of drugs you’ve been prescribed. He or she can recommend a larger supply of any drugs that fall into the maintenance drug category (after the init [..]
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antibiotics


Drugs used to fight infections caused by bacteria, and that aren’t effective in working against viruses. Bacteria may change over time and become resistant. Taking antibiotics unnecessarily, too often, or not finishing your prescribed dosage can lead to more resistant bacteria. Always complete your full prescription and do not save part of it to [..]
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brand vs. generic drugs


Generic drugs contain the same active medicinal ingredients (the stuff that actually makes you better) as the corresponding brand name, and are therefore considered therapeutic equivalents. However, substances combining the active ingredients may be different. In Canada, generic drugs are strictly regulated and must meet certain clinical standards [..]
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co-payment


You pay a portion of the cost of your prescriptions by paying either the same amount each time (e.g. $5) or a percentage of the total cost (e.g. 20%). If you’re paying a percentage, then you’re encouraged to shop around for the best available dispensing fees and ingredient costs.
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deductible


Some plans require that you pay a fixed amount each year before your coverage starts (e.g. first $100 of prescription costs).
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dispensing fee cap


Some drug plans cap (or limit) the amount you’ll be reimbursed for any dispensing fees. In that case, a fixed amount is paid toward the professional dispensing fee charged on every prescription. As the plan member, you would be required to pay any difference between the capped fee and the dispensing fee.
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drug cost


The total cost of a drug to you or your drug plan is made up of a number of components: Pharmacy dispensing fee (see above) Ingredient/manufacturer cost – the sale price charged by the manufacturer for the drug Wholesale mark-up – the amount added on to the manufacturer’s sale price by the wholesaler Pharmacy mark-up – the amount added on t [..]
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drug identification number


A DIN is assigned to a drug product by Health Canada before it reaches the market. The eight-digit number tells you the product has been approved for use and can legally be manufactured and sold in Canada.
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drug utilization review


A DUR occurs when you fill a prescription at the pharmacy (as long as you have a pay-direct drug plan). It’s a real-time system review of the current prescription and your historical claims profile, done while you are waiting for your prescription to be filled. Within five seconds, and before the drug is dispensed, we can notify the pharmacy of a [..]
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formulary


A list of drugs covered as benefits through your provincial health plan, your group plan or your individual plan. Each drug plan determines its own list of covered drugs.
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