Confusing Terms in the Pharmacy

Confusing Terms in the Pharmacy

We use a lot of medical and insurance-related terms in the pharmacy and we often forget that these words are not commonly used outside of the pharmacy.  Let’s go over some of these terms, so we can better understand one another!

In the pharmacy, we have a lot of programs to help you manage your medications, like medication synchronization programs.

  • The sync program (also known as SyncRx) is a way for us to line up all your medications so you can pick all of them up at the same time each month. This program makes it easier for us to keep track of your medication refills and send requests for refills to your doctor.

At Bremo, you can sign up for SyncRX, and have your medications delivered to your house for free!

Commonly used insurance terms

  • Prior Authorizations
    • When your medication requires a prior authorization, this means that your insurance company would like more information from your doctor before you start the new medication. This can be due to the insurance’s formulary and can happen when you have taken the medication before.
    • Basically, your doctor has to tell the insurance company that you need the medication. 
  • Formulary
    • A formulary is the set of medications that the insurance likes for their clients to use. When your doctor prescribes a medication that is not on formulary then the medication will most likely need a prior authorization. 
  • Refill Too Soon
    • This means we cannot fill your prescription again until after a certain number of days has passed. 
    • In other words, your insurance is telling you that it is too soon to refill your prescription because you still have enough medication based on the way your doctor wrote the prescription.
  • Copay 
    • The cost leftover after insurance paid a portion of your medication. These prices can fluctuate depending on the percentage that insurance covers for your medication. 
    • Unfortunately, we do not have any control over copays when we run your medication through your insurance plan.

To learn more about other insurance terms and what they mean, head over to Prescription Process’s Glossary of Terms.

Medication-related terms:

  • Brand Name Medication
    • Brand name refers to the manufacturer’s marketing name for that drug. These medications are usually more expensive. 
  • Generic medication
    • Generic medication names refer to the drug itself. 

An example of brand and generic is Kleenex tissues. Kleenex is the brand name. And the generic would be tissues. You can buy tissues from a variety of manufacturers. The tissues will not be called Kleenex, but they would all be tissues. 

  • Controlled substance 
    • A controlled substance simply means that the drug has abuse potential and more care needs to be taken before we can give you the medication.  
  • Narcotic
    • We also use the term narcotic to describe some medications used for pain relief. Narcotics can also be referred to as opioids. They can be highly addictive and overdoses can be deadly.

Commonly used medical terms:

  • Hypertension, which refers to high blood pressure
  • Hyperlipidemia is another word for high cholesterol levels

If you or someone you know has diabetes, then you may have heard about hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. 

  • Hyperglycemia refers to high blood sugar levels
  • Hypoglycemia refers to low blood sugar. 

An easy way to remember the difference between hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia is “I get low with hypO.”

If you ever have any questions, ask our pharmacists and technicians. We are happy to help!!

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