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Posted by Louise Gagne, FICA, FSA, September 13 2017
What to Know About the Changes Made on Pharmacy Receipts

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Did you know that Bill 92 was passed by the National Assembly of Quebec on December 6, 2016?  From the outset, Bill 92's objectives was to regulate certain business practices related to the distribution of prescription drugs.

First of all, it is important to understand one of the main aspects of Bill 92 that will become effective on September 15, 2017.  Pharmacists will be required to provide greater disclosure regarding the cost of prescription drugs covered by the Quebec drug insurance plan, whether they are reimbursed by the public plan or a private plan.

About the changes on pharmacy receipts

Following the introduction of this bill, as of September 15, 2017, pharmacy receipts will have to separately specify three distinct components of the total cost of each prescription drug. Here they are:

  1. The price of the drug;

  2. The wholesaler’s margin;

  3. The pharmacist’s professional fees (including dispensing fee, pharmacist’s margin and/or any other fees charged by the pharmacist).

Therafter, with respect to precription drugs not appearing on the list of medications covered by the Quebec drug insurance plan, it is not yet clear whether pharmacists will have to provide detailed receipts or not. It is a safe bet that more information for this purpose will eventually emerge. In the meantime, some pharmacy receipts may show only the total drug cost, as is currently the case.

What does this mean for group insurance plan members?

Finally, it is important to consider the fact that this modification will not change the total cost of prescription drugs nor the terms of reimbursement under insurance plans. At this level, everything will remain unchanged.

However, know that the detailed cost disclosure on pharmacy receipts will allow plan members to better compare the cost of their prescription drugs from one pharmacy to another, which will undoubtedly be beneficial. In fact, plan members will be able to make better informed and reflective decisions when they have in possession this information on their pharmacy receipts.

These are some of the many benefits that Bill 92 will bring!

good-drug-consumer

Louise started her career at Blue Cross before working as a Senior Advisor for a large actuarial firm for more than 15 years. Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, Louise joined AGA in June 2014. She assumes responsibility for training, provides technical support, and supplies advisory activities for the large business clientele. Louise is also lecturer at l’UQAM.
Louise Gagne, FICA, FSA