MAY 2023 - Since 2012, the
And you can click here for our overview of trends in claims data for pharmacy services.
In this article, we consider fees for services. How have they changed—or not—over the years? Since funding varies by province and by service, we focussed on the two services with the longest history of remuneration—influenza vaccinations and prescription renewals.
In 2022, fees for influenza vaccinations ranged from a low of $7.00 in Manitoba to a high of $15.66 in Québec. Saskatchewan has the second-highest fee, at $14.00, and Ontario has the second-lowest fee, at $850.
Two provinces have seen no change in their fee since year one: it remains at $7.00 in Manitoba and $13.00 in Newfoundland & Labrador.
Alberta’s fee, while similar to most other provinces today, is 35% less than it was when funding began in 2012. It was $20.00 until 2018, when government negotiations brought it down to $13.00. It temporarily increased to $15.00, from October 2020 to March 2022, to help offset extra costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ontario’s fee of $8.50 is relatively new: it was $7.50 from 2012 until 2021. British Columbia’s fee of $12.10 is also somewhat recent, increasing from $10.00 in 2020.
Québec and Nova Scotia are the only two provinces to have regularly increased their fee in recent years:
Since 2015, pharmacists in all provinces have had the authority to renew prescriptions. But not all can bill for the service.
For the first several years, starting in 2012, only B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan remunerated pharmacies for prescription renewals. Québec began funding the service in 2015, followed by Nova Scotia in 2019, New Brunswick in 2021 and P.E.I. in 2022. This leaves Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland & Labrador as the last three provinces without funding for prescription renewals by pharmacists.
Fees range from a low of $6.00 in Saskatchewan to a high of $20.00 in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. Having said that, fees are tiered in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia:
Saskatchewan’s fee of $6.00, the lowest of all provinces, has not changed since year one (2012). Nor has B.C.’s fee of $10.00, also in place since 2012.
As with influenza vaccinations—and for most funded services, for that matter—the fee for prescription renewals in Québec has increased several times in recent years. It was $12.50 from year one in 2015 until 2017, then increased to $12.70 in 2018, $12.90 in 2019, $13.42 in 2021 and $14.09 in 2022. And as stipulated in the current agreement between the provincial government and the Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires, the fee will increase to $14.80 as of April 1, 2023, and to $15.54 as of April 1, 2024.