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CLHIA welcomes new detailed invoice at Quebec’s pharmacies

News Release

Release Date: 09/15/2017
Staff Reference: Suzie Pellerin

(Montreal, Quebec, September 15, 2017) –The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association welcomes the coming into force of the provisions of the Act to extend the powers of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec, regulate commercial practices relating to prescription drugs and protect access to voluntary termination of pregnancy services, that provides for more transparency on the invoice Quebecers receive when they pick up their medications at the pharmacy.

Starting today, a detailed invoice for drugs will be issued at the pharmacy. It itemizes the pharmacist’s fee, the price of the medication, and the wholesaler’s margin. Only one of these items vary from one pharmacy to another: the pharmacist’s fee.

Understanding the new invoice
The CLHIA has also launched an information campaign to help in making Quebecers aware of this new development, as well as in understanding the new detailed invoice. This includes a web-based resource tool available at:

Ensuring the viability of health care plans
Drug costs, including pharmacists’ fees, have a significant impact on the cost of group insurance and this is a concern for many employers. The detailed invoice will increase awareness and help Quebecers make informed choices about costs when they purchase their prescription drugs. In turn, this will help ensure the viability of their current supplementary health insurance plans.

“We are pleased that Quebecers are provided with greater transparency at the pharmacy with the new detailed invoice. We made this recommendation during consultations given the concerns raised by employers and insurers in Quebec related to the impact of rising drug costs. It is a significant expense and it became clear that plan members needed to be better informed so that they could make sound choices.”
– Lyne Duhaime, President, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association in Quebec (ACCAP-Québec)

Key Statistics

  • Quebecers insured by the private sector purchase more than $3 billion in medications each year.
  • On average, there is a 17% gap between the fees pharmacists charged to Quebecers covered under private group plans and those covered by the public plan.
  • Quebec’s employees and employers that have group insurance plans pay close to half a billion dollars more each year than if they had been covered under the public plan as a result of higher pharmacists’ fees.
  • In Quebec, drug expenses increased by 88 % in 10 years for the private side of the plan.
About the CLHIA
The CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99 percent of Canada’s life and health insurance business. The industry provides a wide range of financial security products such as life insurance, annuities, pensions and supplementary health insurance to 28 million Canadians. It also holds more than $810 billion of assets in Canada and employs 154,800 Canadians.

For more information, please contact:
Suzie Pellerin, Assistant Vice President, Public Relations and Government Relations (Quebec)
(514) 375-5076/