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Medication Explained: Is it Chronic, Acute or Generic?

Product info • by Paul De Beyer • 02 November 2021

There’re some things that are simply facts: the sun will rise in the east in the morning, it will set in the west in the evening, and your doctor will have the worst handwriting. Ever.

Now, you might not be able to read the scripts your GP hands you after your appointment, but somehow your pharmacist can. It might just be a superpower… Part of reading that script is understanding what’s on it, what it's for, and whether or not there’s a repeat on it.

When deciphering the hieroglyphics that your doctor has scribbled across your script, there are a couple of important things you should know.

Is it chronic medication?

To understand this, we should first understand what a chronic illness is. A chronic illness is a persistent medical or health condition that you’ll likely experience for the rest of your life.

This type of illness can’t be cured entirely, and your chronic medication is designed to help you manage or treat specific symptoms. The disease might be one that progresses, or changes, over time, which might require a change in medication such as a new dosage or a different mix of medications to do the same job as before.

Examples of a chronic medical condition that requires medication:

Is it acute medication?

Like chronic medication, let’s first look at what an acute illness or condition is. An acute illness or injury is one that happens in an isolated case and will most likely clear up with the right treatment.

Acute medication is designed to target the specific condition and, instead of treating symptoms only, it treats the illness associated with the symptoms.

Common, acute medications you have probably heard of are:

And, what does it mean to be generic?

This word is most often offered to you by that translator of scribbles, your pharmacist, just before they head off to collect whatever exotic medication your GP has prescribed you. However, generic medication can actually apply to any type of medication.

A generic medication is one that has been created by a different company than the original manufacturer of the drug, and has been created to be exactly the same as the name-brand medication in all characteristics.

Generic medication, despite functioning exactly the same as the name-brand variety, are often much more affordable as their creator simply skipped to the manufacturing process, and didn’t need to spend years researching and designing the medication.

When you’re offered a generic medication, you’re getting something that works in exactly the same way but for a fraction of the cost. It can truly save you, in some cases, thousands of rands.

Does GetSavvi Health cover medication?

The short answer is: yes! If you’re a GetSavvi Health member and are on a plan that offers Day-to-day Benefits, you’ll be eligible for certain chronic medications for conditions such as HIV/Aids, asthma, hypertension, coronary artery disease (CAD), hyperlipidaemia (high cholesterol), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes (type 1 and 2). You’ll also be covered for acute medication – only when prescribed by a non-dispensing GP – to the value of R1 300 per family per annum.

Get the most for your money by grabbing the generic version, which will ensure your yearly allowance lasts longer!

For more information about GetSavvi Health’s Day-to-day Benefits such as authorisation for chronic medication, simply call 0861 18 92 02.

Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand Names?
What is the difference between brand-name and generic drugs?
Generic Drug Facts
Differences between acute medication & chronic medication


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