Prescription drugs and what you’re paying for exactly

Prescription drugs and what you’re paying for exactly

Starting on September 15, you’ll be seeing new information on your pharmacy receipt. What sort of information exactly and what is it for you ask?  Here is the answer.

Changes to your prescription drug receipt

Starting September 15, you’ll notice a few changes on the receipt for your prescription drugs. Things like:

  • Cost of ingredients (drug molecule)
  • Dispensing fee (pharmacist’s professional fee)
  • Wholesaler mark-up

This new practice, which provides more transparency for consumers and a better understanding of the breakdown of the cost of prescription drugs, came into effect under Bill 92, the Quebec government’s law giving the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) increased powers as well as amending various legislative measures including a framework for the sale of prescription drugs.

Cost of prescription drugs on the rise

According to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA):

  • Money spent on prescription drugs has skyrocketed (88% in private sector) in the last decade.
  • 62 million prescriptions were claimed in the private sector in 2014 compared to 25 million in 1999.

Furthermore, prescription drugs accounted for nearly 14% of annual health care expenditures in Canada in 2013.

To avoid an increase in insurance premiums

Luckily there are things that can be done to sustainably maintain the prescription drug plan and reduce the bill for Quebec’s employees and employers.

To keep costs down, you can:

  • Opt for generic drugs whenever possible.
  • Ask for longer renewals to save on the pharmacist’s fee.
  • Compare costs.

The last thing to keep in mind is that making well-informed decisions about prescription drugs will lead to better use of the resources used for your group insurance plan.