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CSS Insurance

Useful information about medication

Before any form of medication can be sold on the Swiss market, it is tested by Swissmedic – the Swiss agency for the authorisation and supervision of therapeutic products (medicinal products and medical devices). It ensures that the authorised therapeutic product meets quality standards, and is effective and safe. An original medicine is a newly developed medicine that is the first with a specific active ingredient to be approved by Swissmedic, the Swiss drug authorisation authority. To cover the costs involved in development and research, original medicines are protected by patent after being introduced onto the market. This patent must expire before it is possible to manufacture a generic form of the drug.

Pay attention to the retention fee

Depending on the availability of cheaper alternatives with the same active ingredient, the retention fee for medicine is either 10% or 20%. Because medicine prices are subject to regular change, we recommend that you ask your doctor or pharmacist about the current retention fee before purchasing prescription medication. The higher retention fee will not be charged if an original preparation is crucial for medical reasons, despite the availability of a cheaper alternative.

Cost participation by CSS under basic insurance

When paying for medication, CSS is guided by the regulations issued by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Any medicines prescribed by your doctor which feature on the Specialty List (SL) will be paid for under mandatory basic insurance, following deduction of your co-payment. This is made up of the annual deductible and a 10% or 20% retention fee, up to a maximum of CHF 700, once the deductible has been used up.

Reimbursement of medication under supplementary insurance

Medication that is not covered under basic insurance but has been approved by Swissmedic, the Swiss institute for therapeutic products, is covered by supplementary outpatient insurance. These medicines fall into the non-mandatory category, referred to as "Hors-liste (HL)" because they do not feature on the list of those that insurers are required by law to cover.

Medicines that are on the List of pharmaceutical products for special application (LPPV) or on the List that supplements the LPPV are not covered under either basic or supplementary insurance. The supplementary LPPV list is not exhaustive and can be modified unilaterally by CSS at any time.

Information on medication

CSS provides you with comprehensive information on medication which Swissmedic has approved.

The information is the same as the patient information provided in the Pharmacopoea Helvetica, including information about a medication's use, composition, dosage, precautionary measures, side effects and interaction with other medicine.

For the time being, the information is only available in German and French.