Fees for Professional Pharmacy Services

POLICY

Published: September 2010

Review Date: 2020

Legislative references:

College Contact: Pharmacy Practice


Purpose: To set out College expectations when pharmacists charge fees for professional services outside of the usual and customary dispensing activities.


Introduction

The function of the pharmacist has moved beyond the traditional role of compounding and dispensing medications to encompass activities in support of improved patient outcomes. The introduction of an expanded scope of pharmacist practice in Ontario is formal recognition that pharmacy practice has evolved. Pharmacist compensation mechanisms are adapting to support the provision of professional services that are not directly linked to dispensing a prescribed medication.


Principles

  1. Ethical Behaviour: The pharmacist will act responsibly and within the context of the Code of Ethics.
  2. Transparency: The fees charged for professional pharmacy services will be readily accessible. The patient will be informed of all fees associated with services offered to them and will consent before the service is delivered.
  3. Patient choice: The patient may decline to receive professional pharmacy services where an additional fee is required.
  4. Fairness: Charges applied to professional pharmacy services will be fair and reasonable.
  5. Eligible services: The pharmacist will not charge a fee for a professional pharmacy service where legislation prohibits it.


Definitions

Usual and customary dispensing fee

The single specific amount set by the operator of a pharmacy as required by the Drug Interchangeability and Dispensing Fee Act. Any adjustment to this fee must meet the conditions established by R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 935 and be communicated to the patient according to R.R.O. 1990, Reg.936. Usual and customary services directly linked to dispensing a prescription include gathering information, analysis and options based on information gathered, and offering follow up to the patient as appropriate.

Professional pharmacy services

Services that require the skill and expertise of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician to help patients manage their medications and chronic diseases.


Policy

A pharmacist may charge patients for professional pharmacy services except where legislation prohibits it. Professional pharmacy services may be provided by the pharmacist, pharmacy technician or their delegate.

  1. Charging for professional pharmacy services: The pharmacist will set the fee schedule in advance and ensure that it is readily accessible. All patients will be informed of any additional fees associated with professional pharmacy services prior to the service being provided to them and will consent to the service and the payment prior to the service being delivered.
  2. Patient choice: Where a patient chooses to decline professional pharmacy services that require the payment of a separate fee, the decision will not impact on their ability to receive services that are covered by the usual and customary dispensing fee.
  3. Fees shall be reasonable:The pharmacist shall ensure that the fee is reasonable (charging a fee that is excessive or unreasonable is professional misconduct). The Suggested Fee Guide for Uninsured Clinical and Professional Pharmacy Services published by the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association includes suggested rates and their rationale.