Your guide to pharmacies and medications

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Going to a pharmacy

  1. There are many drugstores and pharmacies in Manitoba.
  2. Most popular are:
    • Shoppers Drug Mart
    • Rexall
    • London Drugs
  3. Some are inside supermarkets like:
    • Walmart
    • Costco
    • Safeway
    • Superstore

Getting your medicine

  1. Show the prescription slip to the pharmacist.
  2. They will check if they have the medicine in stock and how much it costs.
  3. You may not get your medicines right away. The pharmacist will tell you to wait or come back later.
  4. Only prescriptions by Canada-licensed physicians are filled by pharmacies.
  5. Manitoba pharmacies are allowed to sell only Health Canada approved drugs.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications

  1. Over-the-counter medications are useful for:
    • headaches
    • colds
    • flu
    • fever
    • allergies
  2. You can buy them without a prescription.
  3. They have lesser strength compared to prescription medicine.
  4. Improper use of over-the-counter medicine is dangerous.
    • It can cause bad side effects, worsen a disease, or hurt your kidneys.
    • Consult your doctor before taking any medication.

The prescription label

  1. Prescription medicine bottles have personalized labels.
  2. It contains:
    • the direction for use (how much, how many times, and when to take it)
    • the name of the medicine
    • the expiration date
    • the RX number
    • the name of the pharmacist
    • the name and address of the pharmacy
    • your doctor’s name
    • your name
  3. Information on the label is important.
  4. The doctor or pharmacist will ask you to refer to the label if you experience side-effects.

Ask for help from your pharmacist
Pharmacists can provide helpful information. They can:

  • warn you about the possible side-effects
  • suggest the best time to take your medicine
  • work with your doctor to give you the best treatment

Pharma care and other supports

  1. Medicines can be costly.
  2. Apply to the Pharmacare program if you need help.
    • It pays part of your prescription costs.
    • They will need to know your total family income and the amount you pay for eligible prescription drugs.
  3. Who can apply:
    • Those eligible for the Manitoba health card
    • Those with your prescriptions not covered by other provincial or federal programs, or a private drug insurance program.
  4. Manitoba Home Cancer Drug program provides certain drugs for free.
  5. Who are eligible? Patients managed by:
    • CancerCare Manitoba (CCMB)
    • Community Cancer Program Network
    • community oncologists affiliated with CCMB.
  6. Supplementary health insurance plans can cover prescription costs.
    • Check your company’s group plan coverage.
    • You can also buy a personal health insurance plan.

Article updated April 6, 2022.

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Community Resources

Here is a Price comparison of commonly prescribed medications in Manitoba (2023). This is a good reference if you are looking for prescription options that you can discuss with your doctor.

Know more about your Manitoba Health Care coverage at Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living.

Read Do I need supplementary health insurance? to know more about individual health plans.

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