Pharmacists no longer want to vaccinate at a loss

Pharmacists have been hammering for several months already that the remuneration offered by Quebec for the administration of vaccines is not enough to cover all of their expenses. Results: most of those who offer this service do so at a loss.

Camille Dupuis-Brousseau, a pharmacist owner of Lévis, says that vaccinating a patient against COVID-19 costs her $14. However, the remuneration offered by the government amounts to approximately $12 per dose.

Agreement expired

This price is included in the agreement that regulates billing for the distribution of drugs, the monitoring of drug therapy and the clinical acts performed by pharmacists.

The agreement in question expired on March 31.

Camille Dupuis-Brousseau deplores the fact that owner pharmacists have to put their hands in the wallet to contribute to the vaccination effort.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Guillaume Croteau-Langevin

The owner pharmacists say that the remuneration offered by Quebec barely covers the salary of the vaccinator. It does not make it possible to amortize related expenses, in particular administrative costs, which have risen sharply over the past two years due to inflation.

If we take the example of vaccination, I have to pay the employees who answer the telephone, the person at reception who will do the sorting, we have to pay for the electricity that supplies the fridge, pay the costs of our wholesaler who makes the delivery and who charges us additional fuel costs. Of course, when the fee just pays the person who vaccinates, well, we vaccinate a little at a lossdeplores Camille Dupuis-Brousseau.

It is certain that, if the funds do not follow, we cannot succeed. We are lined up in a wall, that’s for sure. »

A quote from Camille Dupuis-Brousseau, owner pharmacist

The executive vice-president and general manager of the Quebec Association of Pharmacists Owners of Quebec (AQPP), Jean Bourcier, agrees.

Not a profitable service

He criticizes the government for minimizing the administrative burden associated with vaccination, whether we are thinking of managing appointment slots, preparing syringes or recording information on the Clic Santé portal and in patient files. .

When we start to add up all the costs, indeed for some pharmacists, it is little or not profitable because of all the components that refer to the administration of a vaccinesays Mr. Bourcier.

Jean Bourcier during a videoconference interview.

Jean Bourcier believes that the government does not have a “fair and exact” understanding of the efforts required by vaccination in pharmacies.

Photo: Radio Canada

He mentions that his members are not looking to make a profit at all costs, but at the very least to cover their expenses in order to ensure the sustainability of the service and their business.

% et une pénurie de main-d’œuvre en pharmacie comme dans n’importe quel autre environnement, bien, les augmentations salariales sont élevées, les augmentations des coûts sont également élevées”,”text”:”Avec une inflation à 8,1% et une pénurie de main-d’œuvre en pharmacie comme dans n’importe quel autre environnement, bien, les augmentations salariales sont élevées, les augmentations des coûts sont également élevées”}}”>With inflation at 8.1% and a labor shortage in pharmacy like in any other environment, well, salary increases are high, cost increases are also highargues the leader of theAQPP.

Since they provide essential services, the owner pharmacists do not have the right to strike and their association cannot encourage them to use means of pressure in the standoff between them and the government.

They could, however, on their own initiative, reduce their opening hours or cease to offer certain services, invoking the imperative of profitability.

With information from Alexane Drolet

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