Max Rady College of Medicine

Concept: Over the Counter Drugs - Identification

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Concept Description

Last Updated: 2007-03-06


    Over the counter (OTC) drugs are medications that are legally available without a physician prescription. OTC medications may be excluded when assessing drugs to individuals in studies where OTC drugs may be important such as PCH studies. This is because OTC medications may not be registered in the Drug Program Information Network (DPIN) data before residents are admitted to a PCH, but are more likely to be registered in the database after this time. Carriers such as family services and First Nations and Inuit Health may also allow broader prescribing. Examples of OTC medications include acetaminophen, Tylenol, aspirin, multivitamins, and select stool softeners. Differences in OTC medications being prescribed and filled may be based on the carrier, coverage, prescriber, and place of residence (e.g. PCH resident).

Over the Counter Drug Identification Numbers (DINs)

    An Excel document containing a list of over the counter (OTC) drugs that were excluded from the analyses can be found in the LINKS section below, with the link titled MCHP Documentation - Over The Counter DINs Excluded from Analyses . The list of OTC drugs should be reviewed and additional drugs added or removed as required. This document and the SAS code below were created for the PCH Quality Indicators deliverable. The drugs were identified by identifying drug classes that increased by 50% or more after individuals entered a PCH. All of the DINs related to these ATCs were pulled and a select list of additional DINS were added in consultation with a pharmacist.

SAS code and formats 

Related terms 



  • Doupe M, Brownell M, Kozyrskyj A, Dik N, Burchill C, Dahl M, Chateau D, De Coster C, Hinds A, Bodnarchuk J. Using Administrative Data to Develop Indicators of Quality Care in Personal Care Homes. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2006. [Report] [Summary] [Additional Materials] (View)

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Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine,
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences,
Room 408-727 McDermot Ave.
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P5 Canada