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Understanding Prescription Drug Receipts

Ever wonder what the information on your pharmacy prescription drug receipt means or how you can have an impact on your prescription costs?

There are a few different codes and charges listed on a prescription receipt, and it’s not always easy to figure out what they all mean. The sample receipt below represents a typical pharmacy prescription receipt for a plan member covered under an RBC Insurance drug plan.

Decoding your receipt

Some of the information on the receipt is self-explanatory–such as the pharmacy details, the prescriber’s name (doctor), and the name of the drug. Decoding the acronyms can be tricky though. Here are some of the terms explained:

  • DIN: Refers to the Drug Identification Number. This number uniquely identifies all drug products in Canada.
  • Pricing GS/CA: Refers to Green Shield Canada, the drug claims adjudicator for RBC Insurance. In the example below, a portion of the prescription drug cost was submitted to the claims adjudicator.
  • C: Refers to the ingredient portion of the prescription cost. The cost includes the manufacturer’s price, the wholesaler’s mark–up and the pharmacy’s mark-up–which can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy.
  • F: Refers to the dispensing fee or professional fee. This is the fee the pharmacy charges to dispense the drug, and varies from pharmacy to pharmacy.
  • T: This is the total cost charged for the prescription.
  • Patient Pays: This is the amount that the patient is required to pay, based on his or her drug plan coverage. In the sample receipt, the drug plan paid 80% of the total cost, and the plan member paid the remaining (20% X $57.39 = $11.48).
Example prescription drug receipt showing information such as the pharmacy details, the prescriber’s name (doctor), and the name of the drug.

By asking your doctor to prescribe a generic drug instead of the brand version which costs more, and by choosing a pharmacy that offers lower dispensing fees, you can help to reduce costs not covered by your group health plan.