AQIII - Quebec Association of IT Freelancers

Medicines Insurance Act


A generic drug is a bioequivalent product to the original drug, but sold at a quarter of the price of the original drug.

It should be noted at the outset that all therapeutic products, before they are released for sale, must pass a review process for safety, efficacy and quality that is conducted by the Health Protection Branch of Canada.

Authorisation for a generic drug is subject to the same quality standards that apply to original drugs. The manufacturer must be able to demonstrate that the generic product is as safe and effective as the patented product. The HPB submission contains scientific information that shows how the generic product performs compared to the patented product, as well as information on the production of the generic drug, its packaging and labelling. It must also be shown that the generic drug delivers the same amount of drug ingredient at the same rate as the patented product. This comparison is usually done through comparative bioavailability studies.


In Quebec, every citizen must have drug insurance, whether it is government insurance or private insurance.

Provincial drug plans, convinced of the therapeutic value of generic drugs and the savings generated by their use, provide financial incentives to their members by limiting the reimbursement of a claim for an original drug to the price of its generic.

The advent of excessively expensive biologic therapies and new cancer drugs is forcing plan managers to introduce cost control measures to keep drugs affordable. The use of generic drugs is the first step in keeping insurance premiums down.

Consultant pharmacist for MédicAssurance inc.


It has been said, it has been written, and Radio Canada's television program "La Facture" reported on March 20, 2009, that the price of a prescription for the same drug can vary considerably from one pharmacy to another within the same region.

For example, 30 tablets of Pantoprazole 40 mg to treat stomach acidity that the pharmacist pays $16.15 were sold for $27 at Proxim and $48.95 at Familiprix in St-Eustache. And the examples are multiplying in all regions between each pharmacy.

In a free market, the merchant is not required to follow a pricing policy. There is free competition and pharmacists are free to set their prices as they see fit.

The manufacturer's price for a given drug is the same for all pharmacists in Quebec. By provincial regulation, the manufacturer is required to offer its drug in Quebec at the same price as its best price in Canada, to all pharmacists, without exception. This means that in Quebec our price is always lower.

At this price, the wholesaler takes a profit margin of 6.5%. The pharmacist's purchase price is therefore the manufacturer's price plus 6.5%. A pharmacist can charge the prescription fee as he or she wishes. It is the variation in this fee that accounts for the price variation from one pharmacy to another.

Another example: 30 tablets of Atorvastatin, which costs the pharmacist $16.62, were selling for $21.88 in Côte-des-Neiges and $53 at Uniprix in Ahuntsic.

Currently, several drug patents are expiring. As a result, many new generic drugs are coming onto the market. If we can add the savings on prescription fees to the savings on generics, we help maintain the costs of the insurance plan. These savings are critical to maintaining access to the very expensive drugs needed to treat serious illnesses.

As the spokesperson for the Pharmacists' Association said on La Facture, consumers should shop around for their prescriptions as they would for any other purchase.

Consultant pharmacist for MédicAssurance inc.

The Drug Insurance Act
Since January 1, 1997, Bill 33 (Quebec's Drug Insurance Act), which was passed by the Quebec National Assembly, stipulates that all persons residing in Quebec must subscribe to a drug insurance plan.

Membership in a drug insurance plan must first be through a group plan offered by a federation, a professional order or an association such as the Association québécoise des informaticiennes et informaticiens indépendants (AQIII) or through the group plan of one's employer or spouse and, failing the above, through the public plan (RAMQ).

AQIII added value: Partnership

AQIII added value: Partnership

The AQIII, your first ally

The AQIII surrounds itself with professionals who can offer entrepreneurial support services to its members. Its PRIVILÈGE partners are involved in the AQIII.

AQIII Privilege Partners
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For many years, this association group insurance broker has been offering medical, dental and travel insurance to members.

Thanks to a strong partnership with the AQIII, members can benefit from high quality coverage.

MédicAssurance website

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