07/18/2017 09:11 EDT | Updated 07/20/2017 18:42 EDT

Manitoba government touts prescription for savings on drug dispensing fees

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government says effective later this summer, it will put a cap on pharmacy dispensing fees for provincial drug programs.

Currently, pharmacies can charge a professional fee of their own choice and set prices according to such things as overhead costs, profit margins and market dynamics.

But under the cap, which takes effect Aug. 18., pharmacies can charge provincial programs no more than $30 per prescription, regardless of the base cost of a drug or how it's packaged.

The limit under pharmacare will be the same when medicinal ingredients are mixed and prepared for an individual patient's needs, while there will be a 60-dollar pharmacare cap when drugs need to be compounded in sterile conditions.

Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says in a statement that the changes are expected to save about $11 million a year.

The province also says it will ensure pharmacies are still able to recover their dispensing costs.