COVID-19: pharmacists require the assistance of Quebec

COVID-19: des pharmaciens demandent l’aide de Québec

The pharmacist-owners of the province are calling for a boost of Quebec to achieve to keep the head out of the water, the ones who have had to absorb significant expenses related to the crisis.

The Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires (AQPP) was registered recently in the registry of lobbyists asking for support in order to successfully cover some of the costs incurred as a result of the pandemic”.

“We aren’t afraid of closures in the short term. Our members are not being stifled, but let’s say that we need air”, illustrates the association’s president, Benoît Morin.

Important expenses

Among the expenditures that weigh heavier and heavier on their shoulders, pharmacists cite, among others, the costs of delivery. Because unlike the grocery stores, the law prohibits pharmacies from charging any additional fees.

“An order to be delivered involves a lot more time, so additional staff. It takes an organization of space in the pharmacy. It takes drivers more. And since you can’t charge the delivery, these are costs absorbed directly by the owner,” says Katherine Harrison, the owner of two Jean Coutu in Quebec, which saw its number of deliveries to explode by 300% since the beginning of the crisis.

The issue of personal protective equipment, of the redevelopment of the pharmacies and measures of disinfection, also raises concerns.

“Limit”

“Throughout the crisis, we stayed open and it was done with happiness to help the customer, but we never had support for it all,” noted Judith Choquette, a pharmacist in Longueuil. “There is a limit to what you can absorb”.

The request to the government also comes from the fact that pharmacists can refuse to pass the bill on to customers.

“There is a fear of financial difficulties for our members, yes, but also for our customers. We see accounts receivable that accumulate, which increase because clients are no longer able to pay the deductibles. The solution is not there”, believes Benoit Morin.

CALLING ALL

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