Nova Scotia

Pharmacists, province reach tentative deal

The province says it has reached a tentative agreement with pharmacists to resolve a dispute over dispensing fees.

The Nova Scotia government says it has reached a tentative agreement with pharmacists to resolve a dispute over dispensing fees.

Some drug stores were threatening to stop honouring Pharmacare cards next month.

Pharmacists say Bill 17, a new law that comes into effect July 1,  will cost them an extra $5 for every prescription they fill.

A tentative agreement reached Thursday will see the province cushion that blow.

Jennifer Ramsay owns a pharmacy in Clayton Park and another one in Hatchet Lake.

"I'm very happy that we've reached a tentative agreement with the government and I still need to see the numbers in the agreement to see how it will affect me and my business," said Ramsay.

"But this should allow us to go forward and there not be any interruption to services for seniors."

The terms of the deal have not been made public. It must first be ratified by members of the pharmacists association and approved by the government.

Prescription drugs cost the government about $300 million a year.

The government is trying to lower the price of generic drugs, but pharmacists were worried they would lose money because of lower dispensing fees.

Ramsay said she and other drug store owners will still have to figure out how to make up the difference between what they now make and what they'll get after July 1.

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