The Government of Québec has introduced new regulations under the Act Respecting Prescription Drug Insurance governing the rebates and other benefits offered by drug manufacturers to pharmacists. These regulations follow from changes to Québec's Pharmaceutical Policy and Bill 130 and are similar to new provisions in Ontario.
The measures specifically restrict the rebates and benefits traditionally offered by generic drug manufacturers to pharmacies to encourage them to stock their products. Such rebates are no longer permitted but generic manufacturers are authorized to provide benefits in the form of professional allowances that are directed at certain activities specified in the regulations. In the case of generic manufacturers, these professional allowances may not exceed 20% of the total value of the sales by the manufacturer of generic drugs on the Liste des médicaments to a pharmacy under the basic prescription drug insurance plan.
The regulations also provide that innovative drug manufacturers may provide pharmacists with authorized benefits, other than a promotional allowance, for a number of specified activities including:
- Training and continuing education programs and activities in Quebec;
- The reasonable cost of activities intended for the general public that take place in the pharmacy concerning health promotion, disease prevention and similar matters;
- Educational equipment or material used in the pharmacy; and
- The device to measure glycaemia or the insulin pen given without consideration to a patient by the pharmacist.
In the case of authorized benefits which may be provided by innovative drug manufacturers, there is no maximum limit as is specified for generic drug manufacturers in the case of professional allowances.