Brand Name Drugs vs. Generics
Our extended health plan covers all drugs prescribed by your medical practitioner and approved by Health Canada.
Pharmacies may automatically fill the prescription with generic products, mainly because they are cheaper and because most plans require it.
Generally there is little difference between brand name and generic drugs, except for cost. The difference is in the fillers that are used to make the tablets, capsules, whatever. Some people find they are allergic, or have a reaction to the fillers used in generics or the brand-name drugs, so they prefer the alternative.
- If it makes no difference to you, then go with the generic version. Generic drugs save costs to our plan, and keeping costs down, benefits us all.
If you have experienced problems with the generic version, you need to specify you want the brand name, and you should not be charged extra!
If you are charged extra:
Ask the pharmacy to check again and tell them your plan covers brand name drugs at no extra cost and at your discretion. (Your computer file should say ‘participant’s choice’ and not ‘doctor’s choice’.)
Usually when they check, they find you’re correct, and cancel the extra fee.
If they insist you pay, call toll free, Green Shield at 1-888-711-1119 or SSQ at 1-888-651-8181.
Be prepared to provide:
- your Green Shield/SSQ member number,
- the prescription number, and
- the phone number of your pharmacy.
Ask Green Shield/SSQ to confirm the plan policy with the pharmacy. Or get the name of the Green Shield/SSQ person and tell your pharmacy to call them.
When it’s straightened out, confirm with your pharmacy that your file has been corrected so you don’t have to go through this again!
If you have any problems when filling prescriptions, or using any of our health benefits, please contact the CUPE health benefits office at (613) 237-1590.