# Thursday, September 07, 2006

Canadian Dispensing Fees

In Ontario the dispensing fees you pay the pharmacist are posted for you to see, and you may have noticed that those fees are not the same everywhere.

Here are some of the costs that pharmacies use to determine the dispensing fee:

  • Supplier costs.
  • Providing drug counseling.
  • Providing information to physicians and suppliers.
  • Record keeping.
  • Stocking of prescription drugs.

Some expenses are not directly prescription drug related but are business expenses, which are also taken into account when calculating and setting the dispensing fees. For example, the rent paid for the office spaces, the salaries of employees, etc.

So what options are open to the consumer? Shop around! Even within such major chains as Shoppers Drug Mart or Rexall Drugs, dispensing fees still vary. In Ontario the dispensing fees can range from $2.00 to $15.00 or more.

For persons with high and frequent use of prescription drugs there is also the option of using mail order pharmacies, who generally have lower fees.

There are also health plans out there that will pay reasonable and customary dispensing fees in full. An example of this is Manulife's Flexcare ComboPlus (Enhanced) plan.