Information concerning the different components of your pharmacy invoice can be found in this section.
Your pharmacist is more accessible than any other healthcare professional in the health system.
He is also the medication expert, and his professional responsibility guarantees your treatment’s safety. Understandably, prescription drugs are no ordinary consumer goods. Each time your pharmacist fills a prescription, whatever the type of medication or its cost, he performs tasks that require a unique expertise to ensure the safety and efficacy of your treatment.
Analysis of the patient file
Verifications, validation and preparation of the product
Advice and monitoring of the treatment
It’s the pharmacist’s know-how and service, combined with the drug itself, that produce a positive impact on your health.
What’s on my invoice?
Your invoice is subdivided into three components. The medication’s cost price paid by the pharmacist and the amount paid to the distributor (wholesaler) by the pharmacist are amounts that do not include any profit margin for the pharmacy. The third component is your pharmacist’s professional fees. Professional fees have always been included in the total price shown on your invoice. They do not represent a net benefit to the owner-pharmacist. The professional fee amount which appears on the invoice includes all direct and indirect expenses related to the professional service and to maintain pharmacy operations.
Five key features of the invoice
Cost price of the drug paid by the pharmacist
The cost price of the drug is the actual price the pharmacist pays.
It does not include a profit margin for the pharmacy.
Amount paid to the distributor by the pharmacist
In addition to the cost price paid for the drug, the pharmacist pays the distributor an amount set by the government for ensuring drug supplies. It does not include a profit margin for the pharmacy.
Professional fees are included in the total price which appears on your invoice. They do not represent a net benefit to the owner-pharmacist. The fees include all direct and indirect expenses related to the professional service and to maintain pharmacy operations. In fact, the amount that appears under professional fees includes several items:
- Pharmaceutical evaluation: validation of the prescription, analysis of the patient file and counselling services
- Preparation and verification of the medication
- Professional responsibility for monitoring the drug therapy throughout the course of the treatment
- Operating expenses related to the pharmacy’s operations (salaries, rent, computer equipment, specialized devices, electricity, financial expenses, etc.) so as to provide quality service that is readily accessible through extended opening hours.
Publicly insured patients
The contribution of patients covered under the public plan, which includes the deductible and co-insurance, is set by the government, based on various criteria. For more information, please contact the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (the Quebec health insurance board, or RAMQ).
1 800 561-9749 or visit the RAMQ website at www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca
Privately insured patients
The contribution of patients covered under a private plan is set by the insurer, based on the patient’s coverage plan. The pharmacist has no information on the provisions of the patient’s private insurance plan. For more information on the provisions of your private insurance plan.
For more information, please contact your employer or your insurer.
The price paid by the RGAM (Régime général d’assurance médicaments, the prescription drug insurance plan) corresponds to the price payable by the RAMQ for the medication that private insurers are also required to cover. This price does not include professional fees, and applies only to the cost of the medication and the amount paid to the distributor.
Did you know ?
Choosing your pharmacist is your right
The law protects you: you have the right to choose your pharmacist, and no one can force or pressure you to switch pharmacies. If you are being pressured by a private insurer or by a benefits plan administrator to do so, the Régie urges you to report the situation.
You can do so by phone, or by mail:
(Quebec City area)
or 1 877 858-2242
(elsewhere in Quebec)
Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec, Case postale 6600, dépôt Q086
Québec (Québec) G1K 7T3
Should you also wish to inform the AQPP of any complaint you’ve submitted, please e-mail the information to: firstname.lastname@example.org