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Jan 13, 2008
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Toronto

Drug dispensing fees

Does anyone know where I can find a list of drug dispensing fees for downtown Toronto? With the new legislation for the drug refills to be only once a month, my dispensing fees have tripled and would be great to find something more affordable than the usual $12.99 at Shoppers or Rexall.

TIA
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Member
Apr 10, 2020
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archvenus14 wrote: Does anyone know where I can find a list of drug dispensing fees for downtown Toronto? With the new legislation for the drug refills to be only once a month, my dispensing fees have tripled and would be great to find something more affordable than the usual $12.99 at Shoppers or Rexall.

TIA
There is a dispensing fee report, but it dates back to December 2018. It's best that you only use it as reference. https://www.manionwilkins.com/wp-conten ... wdc-EN.pdf
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Oct 13, 2007
3377 posts
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Edmonton
Costco has the cheapest dispensing fee.
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Aug 10, 2011
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I understand wanting to keep supply going, but it's definitely annoying having to pay more dispensing fees.

I'm less familiar with Ontario but I can't imagine they vary too much from the other provinces - usually they range from $9 to $13 with Costco being on the lower end. I've got mine with Shoppers as well and I figure the hassle of switching isn't worth a few bucks (especially with lineups at Costco being what they are now).
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Oct 13, 2007
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Our lunatic premier in Alberta (Kenney) cut off my prescription benefits recently with his “cost saving” measures but I deal with a small pharmacy. They are super cool. They will actually price match the Costco dispensing fee but when I asked, they said that they will just waive the co-pay on my non-governmental plan.

It pays to shop around. There are some good people out there.
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2013
661 posts
260 upvotes
Skadefryd wrote: I understand wanting to keep supply going, but it's definitely annoying having to pay more dispensing fees.

I'm less familiar with Ontario but I can't imagine they vary too much from the other provinces - usually they range from $9 to $13 with Costco being on the lower end. I've got mine with Shoppers as well and I figure the hassle of switching isn't worth a few bucks (especially with lineups at Costco being what they are now).
If they are sincere in keeping the supply going and not profiteering, they should not charge the customer multiple dispensing fees on the same prescription. This is not difficult to implement, they can waive dispensing fees on the second and subsequent refill of the same prescription, prorate the dispensing fees of multiple dispense of the same prescription, apply credits to the customer account for the multiple dispense of the same prescription, give out "super bucks" (previously from Superstore) for the multiple dispense of the same prescription, etc. Unfortunately, they took this opportunity of keeping the supply going to make a profit from multiple dispensing fees of the same prescription,
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Oct 29, 2004
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GTA
archvenus14 wrote: Does anyone know where I can find a list of drug dispensing fees for downtown Toronto? With the new legislation for the drug refills to be only once a month, my dispensing fees have tripled and would be great to find something more affordable than the usual $12.99 at Shoppers or Rexall.

TIA
https://www.costcopharmacy.ca/default.aspx
Newbie
May 4, 2018
67 posts
33 upvotes
BC, Canada
stack21 wrote: If they are sincere in keeping the supply going and not profiteering, they should not charge the customer multiple dispensing fees on the same prescription. This is not difficult to implement, they can waive dispensing fees on the second and subsequent refill of the same prescription, prorate the dispensing fees of multiple dispense of the same prescription, apply credits to the customer account for the multiple dispense of the same prescription, give out "super bucks" (previously from Superstore) for the multiple dispense of the same prescription, etc. Unfortunately, they took this opportunity of keeping the supply going to make a profit from multiple dispensing fees of the same prescription,
Wrong, mandating the 30 day supply limit was the government's decision, not pharmacy's decision. Pharmacies who risk their lives during the pandemic shouldn't have to work for free (and hence waive dispensing fee) due to a decision that Christine elliott made. Although it is a valid concern that this imposes higher costs to us public picking up prescriptions, I think the ministry should be the ones to step up and absorb the extra dispensing fee costs to consumers. After all, it was the ministry decision to cap 30 days.
Member
Jan 12, 2020
493 posts
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blackcoffeetings wrote: Pharmacies who risk their lives during the pandemic shouldn't have to work for free (and hence waive dispensing fee)
I don't believe anyone is asking pharmacies to work for free.

However, many Canadians are concerned about the tripling of dispensing fees during a crisis.

As an example, an individual with 6 prescriptions with $12.99 dispensing fees, has seen their cost rise from $77.94 to $233.82!

Additionally, there are questions why those who have chronic long-term illnesses, who have been prescribed the same prescription for years in 90 day refills, now have to make three times as many trips to the pharmacy at just the time we are strongly being advised to stay home. For those with compromised immune systems, two additional trips into a pharmacy buried deep at the back of a busy grocery store is not a trivial undertaking.

RFD member bylo has been facilitating another ongoing discussion in this subforum about this sudden 300% increase in dispensing fees:

PSA: Pharmacies refilling Rx for 30 days due to COVID-19 panic; 3x dispensing fees

stack21 wrote: If they are sincere in keeping the supply going and not profiteering, they should not charge the customer multiple dispensing fees on the same prescription. This is not difficult to implement, they can waive dispensing fees on the second and subsequent refill of the same prescription, prorate the dispensing fees of multiple dispense of the same prescription, apply credits to the customer account for the multiple dispense of the same prescription, give out "super bucks" (previously from Superstore) for the multiple dispense of the same prescription, etc. Unfortunately, they took this opportunity of keeping the supply going to make a profit from multiple dispensing fees of the same prescription,
This.

Pharmacies are most certainly an essential service and they absolutely deserve commendation for working on the frontlines of the current pandemic.

However, after Canada emerges from this crisis, I recommend that all Canadians call for a full government inquest into this exploit.

It is very important that we never forget the fact that pharmacists took advantage of this opportunity to triple their fees, and that we take action to prevent them from doing so in the future.
Member
Aug 11, 2014
396 posts
270 upvotes
goodking wrote: This.

Pharmacies are most certainly an essential service and they absolutely deserve commendation for working on the frontlines of the current pandemic.

However, after Canada emerges from this crisis, I recommend that all Canadians call for a full government inquest into this exploit.

It is very important that we never forget the fact that pharmacists took advantage of this opportunity to triple their fees, and that we take action to prevent them from doing so in the future.
Unless your pharmacist is the owner of his/her own independent store, the profits from the dispensing fee goes into the pockets of the big grocery chain owners (not to mention many grocery chains run pharmacies at a loss to gain customers).

Your concern is definitely valid, but I do not believe "pharmacists" are the ones who are taking advantage and profiting from this unfortunate policy change. Pharmacists make the same hourly wage regardless of however much the pharmacy owner earns from dispensing fees, be it 1X or 3X the usual.
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2013
661 posts
260 upvotes
blackcoffeetings wrote: Wrong, mandating the 30 day supply limit was the government's decision, not pharmacy's decision. Pharmacies who risk their lives during the pandemic shouldn't have to work for free (and hence waive dispensing fee) due to a decision that Christine elliott made. Although it is a valid concern that this imposes higher costs to us public picking up prescriptions, I think the ministry should be the ones to step up and absorb the extra dispensing fee costs to consumers. After all, it was the ministry decision to cap 30 days.
Whoever who make that 30-day rule should have thought about the public paying $30 for dispensing fee instead of $10 dispensing fee for a 90-day supply. And the Pharmacies should have taken the initiative not to burden the public with 3 times the dispensing fees from that 30 day supply limit. If it is the ministry as you said, then the ministry should not have burden the public with extra costs.

A lot of people also risk their lives and even more risker, not just the pharmacist. How many times does a pharmacist interact with the customer? A lot of times, customer drop off prescription, the clerk punch it in, after waiting time, pick up from the clerk. No face time with pharmacist at all (Walmart, Superstore, Shoppers, or any other grocery store pharmacy)

Does the pharmacist draw a salary from the Pharmacy? If the pharmacist draw a salary, then that additional dispensing fee is pure profit to the pharmacy. If pharmacist do not draw a salary from the pharmacy (like the doctors in BC, etc) , then it is understandable that the pharmacist need to charge a dispensing fee each time they dispense a drug.
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May 22, 2003
5584 posts
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In BC, our pharmacy association is recommending dispensing 90 day supply when possible now. I have been dispensing 90 days supply for my patients unless they were specifically on a drug that had a shortage. I know some pharmacies were dispending 30 days supply for all medications regardless of supply.

https://www.bcpharmacy.ca/news/bcpha-st ... recovering
Member
Apr 10, 2019
341 posts
573 upvotes
Ottawa
stack21 wrote:

A lot of people also risk their lives and even more risker, not just the pharmacist. How many times does a pharmacist interact with the customer? A lot of times, customer drop off prescription, the clerk punch it in, after waiting time, pick up from the clerk. No face time with pharmacist at all (Walmart, Superstore, Shoppers, or any other grocery store pharmacy)
Isn't the pharmacist legally required to talk to you in person when you are prescribed a new medication? As far back as I remember (and using MANY pharmacies) the pharmacist always pushes for a consultation after pick-up, even if it's
"Have you ever taken this in the past"
"Yes"
"Ok any questions?"
Newbie
May 4, 2018
67 posts
33 upvotes
BC, Canada
goodking wrote: I don't believe anyone is asking pharmacies to work for free.

However, many Canadians are concerned about the tripling of dispensing fees during a crisis.

As an example, an individual with 6 prescriptions with $12.99 dispensing fees, has seen their cost rise from $77.94 to $233.82!

Additionally, there are questions why those who have chronic long-term illnesses, who have been prescribed the same prescription for years in 90 day refills, now have to make three times as many trips to the pharmacy at just the time we are strongly being advised to stay home. For those with compromised immune systems, two additional trips into a pharmacy buried deep at the back of a busy grocery store is not a trivial undertaking.

RFD member bylo has been facilitating another ongoing discussion in this subforum about this sudden 300% increase in dispensing fees:

PSA: Pharmacies refilling Rx for 30 days due to COVID-19 panic; 3x dispensing fees




This.

Pharmacies are most certainly an essential service and they absolutely deserve commendation for working on the frontlines of the current pandemic.

However, after Canada emerges from this crisis, I recommend that all Canadians call for a full government inquest into this exploit.

It is very important that we never forget the fact that pharmacists took advantage of this opportunity to triple their fees, and that we take action to prevent them from doing so in the future.
You're right. The ministry made a decision and did not think about how to deal with the added cost to consumers. Pharmacies didn't decide to cap the 30 days and increase number of dispensing fees, it was the ministry's decision. And now many of us in the public are blaming the pharmacy (middle man) rather than going to the ministry (decision maker) to address the concerns of higher costs. A pharmacists hourly wage is set at $xx/hr and does not change nor is dependent of the number of prescription fee he/she charges.

You mentioned that pharmacies are taking advantage of this opportunity to triple fees. This isn't really true. Pharmacies are operating as per usual and charging regular fees per prescription - it was the ministry's decision to preserve drug supply that led to more frequent dispensing fees. Maybe we should be directing this cost concern directly to the ministry. If the ministry is responsible for the 30 day cap, they as well should be responsible in subsidizing the additional costs they have imposed to the public.
Last edited by blackcoffeetings on Apr 30th, 2020 9:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
Newbie
May 4, 2018
67 posts
33 upvotes
BC, Canada
Also don't read bs onesided CBC articles and take it face value for truth. Understand who is actually responsible for the policy changes, and who is just the middleman. Thank you
Last edited by blackcoffeetings on Apr 30th, 2020 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jun 13, 2010
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Looks like Costco is the only place that's has a low fee ($4.49). Walmart use to be cheap years ago but with a $9.97 fee they are almost as much as a drug store now. I hate that the fee is the same for everything. It should be less for items that they just slap on a label like Epi-pens and other items that they just take off the shelf.
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May 30, 2005
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Richmond Hill
tew wrote: Looks like Costco is the only place that's has a low fee ($4.49). Walmart use to be cheap years ago but with a $9.97 fee they are almost as much as a drug store now. I hate that the fee is the same for everything. It should be less for items that they just slap on a label like Epi-pens and other items that they just take off the shelf.
Counting is a very small portion of what is done. The data entry time, time to bill your insurance, counseling time, etc. is the same whether it is something off the shelf or if it needs to be counted. A typical script takes 5-10 minutes to fill, $10 per script means $60-120 revenue from dispensing fees per hour, assuming an unlimited amount of customers. Considering a pharmacist makes $35-45 an hour, and a technician makes $25 an hour, they're just breaking even on dispensing fees in most cases.
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