Answers to Questions You May Have
About Healthfirst Pharmacies and Medicine
Let us help you find answers to common questions about Healthfirst pharmacies and medicines. To start, click on a topic below that is the best match for your question.
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Questions about Pharmacies and Medicine
A generic medicine works the same as a brand name medicine.
Generics are the same as brand name drugs in many ways:
- How you take the medicine (for example, pill or liquid);
- How it works;
- How the medicine should be used.
Generic drugs usually cost much less than brand name drugs.
Prescription medicines are:
- Prescribed by a doctor;
- Bought only at a pharmacy;
- Prescribed for and used by only one person.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are:
- Drugs that do NOT require a doctor's prescription, such as aspirin, antacids, or vitamins;
- Can be purchased by anyone at any store.
Both prescription and OTC medicines are carefully approved and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Whether you are taking a prescription or OTC medicine, you should:
- Read the label carefully;
- Understand how to take the medicine;
- Only take the recommended amount at the right times.
If you have questions about any type of medicine or treatment, you should ask your pharmacist or doctor.
A “formulary” is a list of prescription medicines (both generic and brand name) that are available with your health plan. Your health plan may only cover medications that are on this list. Your doctor can ask Healthfirst to cover medications not on this list by asking for an “exception.”
Yes. A generic drug is the same as a brand name drug in safety, strength, quality, the way it works, dose, the way it is taken, and the way it should be used. This is required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
You should know that not all brand name drugs are available as generic versions. Also, because some medicines (such as Warfarin, Coumadin, Premarin, Dilantin, and certain thyroid drugs) are very sensitive, your doctor may recommend using a brand name medicine to make sure you stay healthy.