Metadata for Health PharmaCare Program

0 views (0 recent)

Published by the Ministry of Health - Data Management and Stewardship Branch
Licensed under Access Only

Metadata for the PharmaCare Program. PharmaCare is BC’s public drug insurance program that assists BC residents in paying for eligible prescription drugs and designated medical supplies. This metadata record includes details of all medications paid for by the program.

Data and Resources

Additional Information


This record describes the fields (variables) in a collection of administrative data files created for statistical analysis. Access to the data in record is granted through the Data Innovation Program. For more information about the program please visit

Data Quality

Data Changes Over Time:
Until May 1, 2003, the PharmaCare program consisted of seven separate coverage plans, some targeting specific subsets of the population, such as seniors, long-term care residents or social services clients, and one catastrophic plan for everyone not otherwise covered. These plans offered relatively comprehensive coverage for some groups such as senior citizens, and fixed-deductible catastrophic coverage for others. On May 1, 2003 the Fair PharmaCare plan was introduced, combining two of the former major plans, the universal catastrophic plan and the seniors’ plan, into one new plan with deductibles based on family net income. These coverage changes under the PharmaCare program mean that after May 1, 2003, the data captured by PharmaCare have changed.Prescription drug use below the deductible levels does not appear in the PharmaCare data, but drug use over the deductible does appear. Thus, after May 2003, a smaller proportion of the population has comprehensive data in the PharmaCare system. For example, one can no longer easily study drug use by seniors, as only a subset of their drug prescriptions appear in the data - those obtained after they have reached their family deductible for the year. Fair PharmaCare is based on family rather than individual net income. This means that one high drug use family member may pull a family across the financial threshold, so that even a first prescription for other family members may be recorded in the data.

Lineage Statement

The dataset was extracted from the Ministry of Health Data Warehouse and then provided to the Data Innovation Program for use and stewardship.

Contact Information

NameData Innovation Program (pointOfContact)
OrganizationMinistry of Citizens Services
Sub-OrganizationData Innovation Program (DIP)

Access & Security

Who can view this dataset? Named users
Who can download this dataset?Not downloadable

Metadata Information

Record Published 2020-03-09
Record Last Modified 2020-07-22
Resource Status onGoing