Patients paying higher dispensing fees as pharmacists limit prescription amounts

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OTTAWA -- A new policy that has pharmacists restricting patients to a 30-day supply of their medications means some people are having to pay dispensing fees two or three times over.

The policy was put in place to prevent drug shortages while manufacturers struggle to produce enough product during COVID-19.

But that means patients who would normally receive 90 days' worth of prescription medications are now paying the dispensing fee three times instead of one.

Some provinces, like Alberta, have adjusted their co-pay structure for seniors and those without private insurance to offset those costs, but not all.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association, which recommended the restrictions, says it has been working with governments and insurers to address the added burden on patients.

They association says this is the cost of safeguarding Canada's drug supply, and it should be borne by the federal and provincial governments.

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