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, or other third party.

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