PharmaNet

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Process

In an effort to further streamline research data access, only one Data Access Request form will be required by researchers to access both linked and unlinked PharmaNet data.

Population Data BC (PopData) will submit the PharmaNet applications on behalf of researchers to the Ministry of Health for formal adjudication by the Data Stewardship Committee.

Please note, although we are coordinating applications for the Ministry, PharmaNet data are still an external data source and not physically a part of PopData’s internal data holdings.

Please be aware that there is currently a separate data extraction charge for the PharmaNet data.  You may request a cost estimate from PharmaNet through PopData by completing the web form (http://www.popdata.bc.ca/forms/feasibility) and the supplementary documents to be provided by the Data Access Unit staff.

For questions related to PharmaNet research data requests, please contact Population Data BC's Data Access Unit at dataaccess@popdata.bc.ca.


Date range: January 1, 1996 to present date, data is provided by calendar year 

Data source: BC Ministry of Health

> download checklist

This checklist is historical and provided only for reference. Please refer to https://my.popdata.bc.ca/dar/ for the current application and checklists.

Description

The PharmaNet system is an online, real-time system that captures all prescriptions for drugs and medical supplies dispensed from community pharmacies in BC as well as prescriptions dispensed from hospital outpatient pharmacies for patient use at home.   In addition, physicians may record medications provided to patients during an office, clinic or emergency department visit.  The recording of medications by physicians is not mandatory at this time; therefore this data is not complete.

PharmaNet supports drug dispensing, drug monitoring and claims processing. The PharmaNet system contains data related to both medications dispensed and PharmaCare claims.

Inclusions

  • All prescription medications and supplies dispensed by community pharmacies in BC
  • Prescriptions dispensed from hospital outpatient pharmacies for patient use at home
  • Medications provided to patients during a physician office, clinic or emergency department visit (not mandatory at this time)
  • Patient demographic data: Personal Health Number, name, address and date of birth, reported drug allergies
  • Drug information and drug interaction evaluations
  • PharmaCare and patient paid prescription claim information for drugs, dispensing fees, special services fees

Exclusions

  • Medications administered to patients when admitted to hospital
  • Drugs dispensed to hospital in-patients
  • Antiretroviral medications dispensed from the Centre of Excellence in HIV/Aids at St. Paul’s Hospital
  • Medications purchased without a prescription by the patient (e.g. Over the counter medications, herbal products, vitamins)
  • Information regarding third party coverage; as a result it is not apparent if the patient paid amount was paid by the patient or a third party insurer.
  • Third party paid amounts

Data changes over time

The PharmaNet system began on September 1, 1995. Before this time PharmaCare, the province’s public drug insurance program, provided drug claim information. However, PharmaCare only captured the portion of the population eligible for the PharmaCare program and as a result, it is not possible to access comprehensive prescription data for the province prior to 1996.

Quality/accuracy of information/field coding source

PharmaNet data is entered by pharmacists reflecting live transactions.

Important additional information

  • Although the PharmaNet data is not part of the Population Data BC internal holdings at this time, it can be linked to data held by Population Data BC.
  • Practitioner IDs in the PharmaCare data files held by Population Data BC (ie MSP, DAD) are not currently linkable to the practitioner IDs in the PharmaNet data files.

References

Fields Available

Patient Information

Field Name

Description

PHN

Personal Health Number used to identify residents of BC for the purposes of tracking health care treatments; prescription medications cannot be dispensed to an individual without a PHN, non-residents requiring prescription medications are assigned a ‘temporary PHN’. The PHN is replaced by project specific patient identification study id.

Gender

Sex of the individual

Date of Birth (YYYYMMM)

Date individual was born, only year and month are approved for release from PharmaNet

Age

Age is typically calculated as of Jan 1 for each year of data released, alternative mechanisms to calculate age may be considered for studies involving infants

Health Authority (HA)

There are 4 health authorities that serve geographic regions in BC; Northern, Interior, Vancouver Island, Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health.  http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/socsec/provmap.html

Local Health Area (LHA)

There are 91 LHAs in BC.  http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/data/pop/maps/lhamap.asp

Other patient geographic information

Other geographical divisions from Statistics Canada (i.e. CMA, CSD, CD) could be requested, as well as researcher defined geographical units.

Pharmacy Information

Field Name

Description

Pharmacy Identification Number

Pharmacy identification number (ID) is a unique identifier assigned by the Canadian Pharmaceutical Association.  Pharmacy ID is replaced by a project-specific pharmacy study identification number.

Health Authority

There are 4 health authorities that serve geographic regions in BC; Northern, Interior, Vancouver Island, Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health.  http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/socsec/provmap.html

Local Health Area

LHA is the lowest level of geographic data released by the PSC.  There are 91 LHAs in BC.  http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/data/pop/maps/lhamap.asp

Other pharmacy geographic information

Other geographical divisions from Statistics Canada (i.e. CMA, CSD, CD) could be requested, as well as researcher defined geographical units.

Practitioner Information

Field Name

Description

Practitioner Identification Number

Unique identifier, licence number assigned by the governing body with which the individual is registered.  Replaced by a project-specific practitioner identification study number.

Health Authority (HA)

There are 4 health authorities that serve geographic regions in BC; Northern, Interior, Vancouver Island, Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health.  http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/socsec/provmap.html

Other practitioner geographic information

Other geographical divisions from Statistics Canada (i.e. CMA, CSD, CD) could be requested, as well as researcher defined geographical units.

Practitioner ID Ref

Practitioner identification reference (code identifying the governing body from which practitioner receives their licence)

Practitioner Type

Describes type of medical work performed e.g., physician, dentist, nurse practitioner, podiatrist, midwife, veterinarian, pharmacist

Practitioner Specialty Flag

Y/N flag that identifies whether the practitioner is a specialist

Practitioner Specialty Description

Prescriber specialty information e.g., cardiology, neurology, paediatrics, psychiatry, respiratory, urology etc.

Drug Information

Field Name

Description

DINPIN

The Drug Identification Number / Product Identification Number assigned by Health Canada, also referred to as Canadian Drug Identity Code (CDIC), is used to uniquely identify a particular drug by chemical, dosage, form and manufacturer

Canadian Brand Name

Name the product is marketed by in Canada

Chemical / Generic Name

Represents the chemical composition of a drug

GCN Sequence Number

Proprietary random number assigned by Health Canada that represents the generic formulation of drug

Drug Strength

Alpha numeric description of drug potency and units e.g., 75%, 70U

Drug Form Units

The drug measurement units for performing drug encounter and price calculations; e.g., ml, grams, each.

Dosage Form Code

Code identifying the form by which a drug is formulated; e.g., aerosol, foam, capsule, tablet, liquid.

Dosage Form Description

Describes the form by which a drug is formulated.

AHFSCode

American Hospital Formulary code assigned and maintained by Health Canada to group drugs by therapeutic categories

PharmaCare TheraClass

PharmaCare therapeutic class based on AHFS code, is assigned and maintained by PharmaCare to group drugs by therapeutic categories

Medication Review

Field Name

Description

Medication Review Records

Pharmacists provided details about all drugs a patient is currently taking, possible adverse affects, recommendations, etc. Medication reviews are a service provided by pharmacists. Pharmacists can then claim these and be reimbursed for this extra service.

Medication Dispensing Information

Field Name

Description

Date of Service

Date treatment, product or service was provided to the patient.

Quantity Dispensed

Quantity of medication dispensed

Days Supply

Estimate of number of days treatment contained in the dispense

Directions for Use

Directions regarding on the drug should be taken in terms a patient should understand. 80 character free format text field.

Claims or Cost Information

Field Name

Description

Date of Service

Date treatment, product or service was provided to the patient.

Account Code[1]and Description

Account type under which claim adjudicated, represents type of PharmaCare plan e.g., long term care, income assistance, cystic fibrosis, mental health, Fair PharmaCare.

Quantity

The actual number of units dispensed as submitted by the Pharmacist.

Quantity Accepted

Pro-rated quantity based on days supply accepted for payment by PharmaCare

Days Supply

Estimated number of days of treatment contained in the prescription as submitted by pharmacist

Days Supply Accepted

Pro-rated days supply based on the ‘allowed’ days supply.  The ‘accepted’ days supply may be reduced from the submitted days supply based on: exceeding one of the following; patient’s special authority days supply, amount allowed for the plan or amount allowed for the DINPIN.

Days Supply

Estimated number of days of treatment contained in the prescription as submitted by pharmacist

Days Supply Accepted

Pro-rated days supply based on the ‘allowed’ days supply.  The ‘accepted’ days supply may be reduced from the submitted days supply based on: exceeding one of the following; patient’s special authority days supply, amount allowed for the plan or amount allowed for the DINPIN.

Drug Cost Claimed

Ingredient cost claimed / submitted by the pharmacist

Drug Cost Accepted

Product cost that Pharmacare used to adjudicate the claim. If the product was in a Reference Based Price Category, or part of a Low Cost Alternative group of drugs, and the price charged for the drug was greater than the base-line cost established by Pharmacare, before adjudicating the claim the product cost is set to the appropriate base-line cost. Special Authorities may be given to have Pharmacare pay the entire price of the higher drug.

Drug Cost Paid

The amount of the submitted drug cost paid by PharmaCare.

Professional Fee

Dispensing fee cost claimed / submitted by the pharmacist for technical and professional services.

Professional Fee Accepted

Professional fee cost Pharmacare used to adjudicate the claim. If the Professional fee charged exceeded the maximum allowed for the BENEFITGRP or PHARMACY, before adjudicating the claim the professional fee is adjusted is set to the appropriate maximum allowed.

Professional Fee Paid

The amount of the dispensing fee cost amount paid by PharmaCare for technical and professional services.

Special Services Fee

The amount claimed by pharmacist for special service e.g., consulted prescriber, action Rx issue

Special Services Fee Paid

The amount paid by PharmaCare to the pharmacy for the special service e.g., consulted prescriber, action Rx issue

Copay to Collect

The amount the pharmacy collected from the patient for a claim. Note: PharmaNet does not track amounts paid by third party insurers, the copay to collect amount may be passed on to a third party.

Total Amount Paid

Total amount paid by PharmaCare to the pharmacy for drug cost and professional fee after adjusting for maximum price rules and subtraction of the copay to collect amount.

Special Authority Flag

Y/N  Indicates whether or not a special authority was in effect at the time of the claim.

Special Authority Type

Represents the type of special authority in effect at the time of the claim e.g., B = non-benefit, L = low cost alternative (LCA) and R = reference drug program (RDP)

Accumulated Expenditure Amount

Total dollar amount spent by, or on behalf of the family since the start of the benefit year. The value includes expenditures up to but not including this claim. This amount is the cumulative total of the Accepted Amount but does not include the current claim.

Claim Status

Current status of the claim, reversal, or adjustment

Intervention Type Code

Identifies intervention codes for special services performed. Up to two Special Service Intervention codes are allowed per claim

 

[1] Different accounts target specific sub-sets of the population. Fair PharmaCare plan level data is not provided for privacy reasons due to the potential for determining family income.

 


Page last revised: November 1, 2017