New agreement with pharmacists in Quebec

Plan sponsors with members in Quebec could have better control over their drug plans

November 1, 2021

For business owners, plan administrators, and sponsors

New agreement with pharmacists

A new agreement between the group benefits industry and the pharmacy owners’ association in Quebec (L’Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires or AQPP) means plan sponsors could have better control over their drug plans as long as they provide the minimum coverage required by the provincial government.

This new arrangement shows a willingness by pharmacists and insurers to work together for the benefit of plan sponsors and their members.

More plan options now possible

The new agreement achieves more cooperation on pharmacy issues in Quebec, with more openness and improved sharing of information. As a result, we expect to be able to offer more drug plan management programs and tools, including

  • Pharmacy Savings Search – a tool that helps members find pharmacies in a selected area. Shows the average cost charged by the pharmacy for specific drugs.
  • Health protection programs for plan members (such as our opioid management program).

On-going cooperation between pharmacists and insurers

As part of the agreement, new joint committees will be formed to continue discussions and resolve outstanding issues. Committees will study pharmacist fees for maintenance and specialty drugs in Quebec.

This is a significant agreement. In the past, the Pharmacy Benefits Managers negotiated with the AQPP on behalf of the insurance industry. Now, with insurers at the table and leading the effort, we feel the interests of plan sponsors are better represented.

The agreement will be in place for three years and will automatically renew every 12 months after that.