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Substituting medicines at the pharmacy

Pharmacies will substitute prescription medicines whenever lower-cost medicines with the same formula exist. The prices are valid for one month at a time, so patients may be offered different medicines each time they refill a prescription.

When patients fill a prescription at the pharmacy, they may be offered a different medicine than is indicated on the prescription. This procedure, known as generic substitution, means that the pharmacy will substitute the medicine given on the prescription with another medicine with the same formula whenever a generic, or different version of an original medicinal product, is available.

Different medicines may be offered

Because the least expensive product will vary, the pharmacy will offer different medicines on different occasions. This also means a certain price variation and it is the Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Agency, TLV which determines which medicine will be the least expensive and thus offered to patients at the pharmacy. Each month, we designate which product is to be the least expensive. We also make sure that the pharmacies perform the substitutions.

The Swedish Medical Products Agency approves substitutable medicines

The Swedish Medical Products Agency reviews all substitutable medicines. Only those which are equally effective are approved for substitution. In other words, the medicine offered at the pharmacy is as effective as the one given on the prescription.

Substitution of medicines at the pharmacy is part of the high-cost threshold system and the goal of the system is to keep medicine costs down so individual patients pay the least amount possible for medicines.

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Last updated
1 August 2022
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