You and your doctor need to decide what’s best for you. Given your drug benefit plan, generic equivalents may be dispensed when appropriate – and permitted by the prescribing doctor.
Generics and brand-name medications contain the same medicinal ingredients and adhere to the same Health Canada quality standards. The generic manufacturer must provide evidence showing that the quality, safety and effectiveness of the generic drug are equivalent to the brand name. Close to half of all prescriptions filled by pharmacies are generic drugs. Some hospitals use generic drugs almost exclusively.
For more information on generic drugs, visit the Health Canada website at hc-sc.gc.ca.
When we fill your medications, we keep your best interests at heart and look for alternative medications that provide you with the lowest cost yet don’t compromise your health. For example, price reductions are often seen through therapeutic substitution which can mean switching one medication to a different one that can provide the same health benefits. A chemically equivalent drug is a generic medication made up of the same active chemicals (molecules) as the brand medication counterpart. A therapeutically equivalent drug is a different medication than the original and is not made up of the same active chemicals (molecules) as the original drug. This type of switch requires the approval of you and your doctor. Both chemical and therapeutic equivalents produce the same health results as the higher cost brand alternatives.