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Ministry Status: Routine Monitoring and Engagement

Ontario Public Drug Programs

About the Formulary

Through the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care covers most of the cost of prescription drug products listed in the Formulary.

The Formulary serves as a:

  • Guide to practitioners and pharmacists regarding drug products which are eligible for coverage under ODB.
  • Guide to professional committees in hospitals and institutions in the selection of drug products.
  • Guide to drug product interchangeability in respect of drug products that have been designated interchangeable under Ontario legislation.
  • Comparative pricing guide for drug products.

This information requires knowledgeable interpretation and is intended primarily for professional health care practitioners, pharmacies, hospitals and organizations associated with the manufacture, distribution and use of pharmaceutical preparations.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care printed the first Comparative Drug Index in 1970 and Edition 1 of the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary was published in 1971. The integrated Formulary was first produced in 1974, to define the benefits provided for eligible recipients. The Formulary was developed in consultation with the ministry's external expert drug advisory committee, the Drug Quality and Therapeutics Committee (DQTC), now known as the Committee to Evaluate Drugs (CED). For many years, the Formulary has set the provincial standard for price, quality and interchangeability of drug products. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has liaised with the Ontario Medical Association, the Ontario Pharmacists' Association, the Ontario College of Pharmacists, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other professional and patient groups as required on the content and policies embodied in this publication.


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