If you look at your receipt for your prescription, you’ll see a charge called a dispensing fee. This is common at all pharmacies in Ontario. While many people have heard about this fee and have been paying them for years, there is still some confusion about what they are and why we have charged them. In this blog, we’ll explain what a dispensing fee is and how they work.
What is a dispensing fee?
A dispensing fee is a charge applied by pharmacies every time they fill a prescription. You will be charged a fee for each prescription, not one fee per transaction. For example, if you have to fill three prescriptions, you will be charged a dispensing fee three times on your receipt.
Some health insurance policies will not only cover the cost of your prescription (minus the co-pay), but they will also cover the dispensing fee. Some insurers will cover a percentage of the dispensing fee, like how they may cover a certain percentage of your medication costs. How much is covered will depend on your plan type and benefits plan.
How much are dispensing fees?
How dispensing fees are calculated can vary by the pharmacy. It is up to the individual location how much they will charge. Generally, they either charge you a flat fee per prescription (for example, $7 per prescription) or a percentage of the total cost of the prescription (for example, 10% of the cost of the prescription).
Rates vary based on many factors. A pharmacy is just like any other business and these fees are tied to the overall costs to run the business. Some charge lower fees to get a competitive advantage over other local pharmacies.
Many pharmacies will list dispensing fees in the store. If you are not sure how they work, ask your pharmacist.
What do dispensing fees cover?
Dispensing fees are a way for them to receive compensation for a variety of business activities.
The fee is meant to cover the services that are provided to patrons. For example, the medical advice and personalized consultations you receive from pharmacists. Here are some of the business activities that are supported by dispensing fees:
- Medication storage (refrigeration)
- Maintaining customer records
- Labels and medication packaging and containers
- Inventory management
- Time spent dispensing and preparing prescriptions
- Other operations costs
If you have questions about the dispensing fees with Silver Scripts, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our pharmacists will happily provide you with more information.
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At Silver Scripts, we make getting your prescription easy. Hassle-free and complimentary delivery means no more long lineups at the pharmacy. Our team is available for consultation and fills your medications with accuracy and discretion. Sign up online, by email or by phone today!