We previously reported on the Ontario government’s efforts to manage the risk of drug shortages in the early days of the pandemic. Those efforts included a recommendation that pharmacies dispense no more than a 30-days’ supply of medication to patients under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program. Because the policy resulted in additional dispensing fees being charged to patients, the government took further regulatory action to ensure that patients would not be required to pay additional fees as a result of this policy.
On June 15th, 2020, the Drugs and Devices Division ended its recommendation that pharmacies dispense no more than a 30-days’ supply of medication under the ODB program, citing a stabilization in the drug supply chain. ODB recipients may once again receive up to a 100-days’ supply of their medication and pharmacies will be subject to the regular dispensing fee rules for the ODB program. Pharmacies are encouraged to continue to manage their inventory and avoid stockpiling.