Quebec pharmacists challenging Bill 92

In December 2016, the Minister of Health in Quebec, as part of Bill 92, introduced an Act that forces pharmacists within the province to provide more information about their fees. Starting on September 15, 2017, pharmacists in Quebec must provide itemized receipts to plan members that include the medication cost, wholesaler’s fee and their professional fees. They will also be required to electronically submit the same detailed invoice to insurers.

Manulife supports this change in legislation because it creates more transparency and enables your plan members to make informed decisions when choosing their pharmacist. This new requirement was adopted by the government in response to repeated requests from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) and insurance carriers. 

The pharmacist association in Quebec, l'Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires (AQPP), is not pleased with this change and is taking action. Some of you may have received a letter from the (AQPP), inviting you to discuss “how pharmacists can make a difference for you”. This letter is one of many measures they are taking to challenge the change in legislation.

In addition, AQPP has:

  • Requested the Superior Court of Quebec provide an interpretation of the new requirements - AQPP do not believe it is a legal requirement to electronically submit the detailed invoice to pharmacy benefits managers and carriers.
  • Asked the Regie de l’Assurance Maladie du Québec (RAMQ) to prohibit the use of Reasonable & Customary limits - Manulife imposes Reasonable & Customary limits on dispensing fees and mark-ups to help manage drug costs and protect against unreasonably high prices.

Manulife is committed to continuing to help control prescription drug costs for you and your plan members. As you may know, drug spending per claimant is higher in Quebec than in all the other provinces and due to current regulations, the cost control measures already in place in the rest of Canada cannot be put in place in Quebec. 

We are working very closely with CLHIA and its other members. CLHIA has also been asking employers to provide their support in discussions with the Quebec government. 

What do you need to do?

  • Let your Manulife representative know if you have any questions or if AQPP communicates with you directly.
  • You can share this article with your employees in Quebec to let them know what this new legislation will mean for them.