Negotiations between pharmacists and Quebec: great evils, few remedies

The negotiations are stalling especially on the status of the new negotiated agreement, interim for the time being. Owner pharmacists would like it to last longer for the benefit of their patients.

We agree on the amount [de la hausse tarifaire], but not on the sustainability of the tariff, explains the president of the association, Benoit Morin. For entrepreneurs like us, you have to have a long-term vision.

We have always had a great collaboration. [avec le ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux] but there, it seems that we are negotiating with people who know us less. »

A quote from Benoit Morin, President of the AQPP

As a representative of the profession, Mr. Morin requires, for the 2,043 pharmacist owners in Quebec, a balance that allows you to evolve in a context where health has come to the fore since the start of the pandemic and where inflation has caused costs and salary expectations to explode.

We often have the perception of being treated like employees when we are entrepreneurs who have to pay their employees, their suppliers, their expenses, their supplies, whose prices are skyrocketing, he assures in an interview with RDI . It’s the context that puts us at an impasse.

No break in service

Expired on March 31, the agreement regulates the billing of the distribution of drugs, the monitoring of drug therapy and the clinical acts performed by pharmacists.

The distribution of drugs accounts for 95% of pharmacists’ income, while services provided under the Health Insurance Act and the Drug Insurance Act constitute the remaining 5% of income, a large part of which relates to vaccination, says Mr. Morin.

Pharmacists expect to be in greater demand at the end of the summer when the new vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 and the flu begin, a significant parameter in the negotiations, they argue.

L’AQPP reports 10 months of negotiations, punctuated byefforts and in good faith.

Facing thestubbornness of the State which refuses to yield to the demands of the association, its president Benoit Morin nevertheless rejects the possibility of causing service interruptions to put pressure in the negotiations.

There is no question of taking the population hostagehe reassures, but inflation set in, along with labor shortages and rising gas priceslists Benoit Morin, who insists on the key role that pharmacists have played in recent years with the population.

Contacted by Radio-Canada, the Ministry of Health did not wish to comment on the negotiations in progress.

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