What is an LU Code in Canada?

Updated

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Canada’s Healthcare system is popular around the world, and for a good reason – we have some of the best Healthcare coverage in the world.

Unlike many places around the world, like the United States, many of our procedures and medications are covered by the Canadian Government, meaning that we don’t have to pay for them out of pocket.

But when you’re ordering medications, some are covered by healthcare and others that are not. 

What is an LU Code?

When you order medications, you will often see codes on the side of them. If you see something that says, “LU”, this stands for “Limited Use” drugs. You may also hear these being referred to as “Special Access” drugs or drugs with “Exceptional Drug Status”, or EDS. 

Under private or provincial drug programs, these medications are typically more expensive. To receive them under a drug plan, you must fulfill certain criteria. If the medications are for a specific disease, for example, you may need to prove how far advanced or severe the condition is before the LU medication is covered. 

The LU code is the unique code needed for the LU medications to be covered under your provincial or private medical plan. 

When are drugs listed as LU?

Limited Use Drugs are drugs that are not appropriate for general listing. They often serve a purpose and value but are not recommended unless used in specific circumstances or with certain diseases. Medications are often defined by the Committee to Evaluate Drugs as Limited Use when they are very expensive and cheaper alternatives are available. 

Drugs may also be listed as limited use when they are commonly used for purposes other than those listed or associated with adverse side effects (and less toxic options are available).  

Why do I need to know if my medication is listed as LU?

If you’re ordering medications, you must understand whether or not they are listed as Limited Use. If you purchase the medications and the necessary conditions are not fulfilled, you might not be reimbursed by your drug plan.

In return, you would have to pay for the medications out of your own pocket. As mentioned early, most Limited Use Medications are costly, so paying out of your own pocket may not be something you want to do. 

How do I order Limited Use Medications?

In Canada, Limited Use medications must be ordered by your doctor. If your doctor deems that you need a Limited Use medication, they will send an LU code to your pharmacy of choice to inform them that you meet the conditions necessary to receive benefits for the drugs. 

There may be some cases in which doctors recommend limited use medications, but you do not qualify for benefits. In such a case, it’s up to you to determine whether or not you would like to pay out of pocket. As mentioned earlier, there are often cheaper alternatives to most Limited Use medications, so it may be worth speaking to your doctor about these instead. 

You Might Like

Post Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Essential reads, delivered weekly

Join the Financial Literacy Train. Get the latest financial information delivered right to your inbox.

Newsletter

Deals and Offers

We’ve rounded up the Best life in Canada, with the best promotions, and the best sign-up bonuses, to help you maximize your benefits.

EQ Bank US Dollar Account

Earn more on your US dollars

World Elite Mastercard

A card for travelling with exclusive perks

Platinum Mastercard

Earn 1 point for every dollar spent

Reviews

Post Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Canada Buzz Editorial

Product News and Recommendations Senior Editor

Latest Post

Advertiser Disclosure

Canada Buzz is an advertising-supported blog. Some products and services that appear on this site are from companies from which Canadabuzz receives compensation. We may alter brand placements on our website to amplify our partners and their offers. Any time you click to our partner websites or register for a product or services through an affiliate link on our website, we may earn a commission at ZERO cost to you.

Canada Buzz is a purely informational blog. Opinions expressed on this blog are NOT endorsed by the reviewed brands. The information provided on this website does not constitute financial or professional advice. However, our team strives to bring you quality, unbiased information.

Adageorge

Highlights

Avid researcher, freelance writer, and personal finance enthusiast passionate about financial education and literacy.

Latest Post

Kareena Maya

Personal Finance and Travel Rewards Expert Contributor

Highlights

Experience

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.