Why do prescription drug prices vary between
pharmacies or between patients?

Regardless of the total price of the prescription drug, the amount you must pay depends on the rules of your drug insurance plan.

If you have a private drug insurance plan

In accordance with the Competition Act, the total price of a prescription drug cannot be agreed upon between private pharmacies. Such agreement to fix prices is not allowed.

The total price of the drug includes:

  • 1. The cost of the medicinal substance (set by the government).
  • 2. An amount intended to cover:
    • The professional services provided by the pharmacist;
    • The pharmacy’s operating costs (cost of labour, rent, etc.).

The pharmacist determines this amount based on services rendered and pharmacy operating expenses: a competitive amount reflecting the economic reality of the pharmacy.

If you’re insured through the public prescription drug insurance plan(administered by the RAMQ)

The total price of a given prescription drug is the same in all pharmacies, as the Competition Act does not apply to government programs.
 

The total price of the drug includes:

  • 1. The cost of the medicinal substance (set by the government).
  • 2. The total price of the drug includes:
    • The professional services provided by the pharmacist;
    • The pharmacy’s operating costs (cost of labour, rent, etc.).

The pharmacist must bill his services in accordance with set rules and rates imposed by the government and not reflecting the economic reality of the pharmacy.

Do you have questions about your drug bill?

If you are insured by a private drug insurance plan:
Speak directly to your insurer. They can answer all your questions.

If you are insured under the Public Drug Insurance Plan:
Speak directly to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)

Customer Service
1 800 561-9749 www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca