05/09/2013 12:58 EDT | Updated 07/09/2013 05:12 EDT

Government, pharmacists reach one-year deal in Saskatchewan

REGINA - The Saskatchewan government has reached a deal with pharmacists aimed at reducing the impact of lower generic drug costs.

The one-year agreement increases drug dispensing fees by 50 cents to $10.75 per prescription.

It also restructures a program for pharmacies that receive an annual fee for services to seniors with chronic conditions.

Pharmacists will also be compensated for costs related to work they do to help people stop smoking — costs pharmacists have up to now incurred.

Health Minister Dustin Duncan says the government realizes that lower generic pricing has hurt pharmacy revenues and the goal is to reinvest some of the savings.

The Pharmacists' Association of Saskatchewan says the deal is an important beginning towards a long-term strategy for pharmacy services.

There are about 1,300 practising pharmacists and more than 350 licensed community pharmacies in Saskatchewan.