Non-Medical Switching (NMS)


Non-Medical Switching (NMS) is the switching of a patient’s medicine, often at the behest of a third party, for reasons other than the patient’s health and safety. Non-medical reasons for switching a patient’s medicine could include:

  • To increase the profits of a private insurer.
  • To reduce costs for a government agency, or employer.
  • An agreement between the payer and a particular manufacturer to favor that manufacturer’s product.

ASBM believes that patients and their physician should remain in control of their treatment decisions, rather than an insurer, government, pharmacy-benefit manager (PBM), or other third party.

Yet for patients in several countries, including Australia and several Canadian provinces, this fundamental right is being threatened.