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Prescription Drug Program (POC 10)

The Prescription Drug Program provides coverage for qualifying prescription drugs and over-the-counter products for Veterans. They must be prescribed by your medical or dental professional and dispensed by your pharmacy.

About this program

The Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Prescription Drug Program (Program of Choice 10) provides coverage for most prescription drugs and some over-the-counter drug products for qualifying Veterans. These must be prescribed by your medical or dental professional and dispensed by your pharmacy. This program is administered for VAC by our Federal Health Care Program Services contractor.

The Prescription Drug Program covers the following categories:

  • Standard benefits: includes many over-the-counter and prescription drugs as well as medical devices for common therapies. Prescriptions must be written by your physician, dentist, or other medical professional authorized to prescribe pharmaceuticals under the laws in force in the province or country where the pharmaceuticals are prescribed.
  • Special authorization benefits: provides qualifying Veterans with approved therapies that are less common or higher cost as part of your managed health care approach. You need a prescription for such therapies and must be able to demonstrate a medical need that is most appropriately met by the requested therapy. You may be required to submit medical test results before being approved for these benefits.
  • Exceptional approvals: on a case by case basis, we may approve certain medical products or services that aren’t usually approved on our drug formulary. In such cases, it will be necessary to clearly demonstrate that the medication or service provides specific benefits and is medically appropriate.

Your pharmacist will verify if you qualify for a benefit when you give them your prescription for an approved medication or service and your VAC Health Care Identification Card.

The following classes of products, except those specifically listed on our drug formulary, are not covered by the Prescription Drug Program:

  • Drugs not authorized for sale and use in Canada (e.g. drugs obtained through Health Canada’s Special Access Program, experimental or investigational drugs)
  • Homeopathic products
  • Herbal products
  • Cough and cold products
  • Cosmetic products such as soaps, shampoo, cleansers and disinfectants
  • Vaccines and biologicals that are available at no cost through provincial public health programs

Note: This list of excluded drugs or drug products is not exhaustive and is subject to change.

Do you qualify?

To qualify, Veterans must have a VAC Health Care Identification Card.

Depending on your medical needs, you will fall under one of the following groups:

  • Those in Group A may only obtain benefits directly related to the treatment of their VAC disability benefits condition.
  • Those in Group B qualify for approved benefits if they have a demonstrated health need and the benefits are not available to them under a provincial health plan.

Note: Prescription medications for Veterans residing outside of Canada must be approved for use by Health Canada.

Additional information

VAC drug formulary – search our formulary by drug trade name or Drug Identification Number (DNI).

What clients should know – learn more about our drug formulary.

Information for pharmacists and physicians – The Prescription Drug Program includes a number of features to help pharmacists and physicians better serve Veterans.

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