02/28/2014 04:47 EST | Updated 04/30/2014 05:59 EDT

$53 fee to speak to pharmacist irks Waverley man

A Waverley, N.S., man is warning others about a fee he was charged at a local pharmacy for what he thought was a chat about his medications.

Colin Clarke discovered he’d been billed $52.50 for what is called a 'medication review.' He only learned of the charge when he asked for a printout of all his prescriptions for the the past year.

"I never requested this service," Clarke said.

He said last year a pharmacist reviewed his medications at the counter of a Lawtons Drugs on Cobequid Road. Clarke said he was never told about the fee.

The fee is mostly paid by Nova Scotia pharmacare programs, but $15.75 comes out of pocket.

The reviews were approved by the province in 2011. They are supposed to be 20 to 30 minute discussions in a private room to determine whether patients are taking medications the way the doctor prescribed them.

Both the Department of Health and Wellness and the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia say the fee should be spelled out to patients.

"We are required to get consent before we provide any of the these services," says Andrew Buffett, with the pharmacy association.

Some pharmacies post signs describing the fee.

The medication review is in place in many other provinces, and according to Buffett it results in millions of dollars in savings by preventing drug interactions and additional doctor or hospital visits.

But Clarke said he was never told of the cost. The Lawtons he attended says it’s a misunderstanding and they’re working to resolve the matter.

Clarke says he hasn’t got his money back yet and he’s planning on filing a complaint.