Fee Schedule Amendments for Pharmacy Professionals in Effect November 2021
As approved by the Board, the College filed amendments to the Fee Schedules under the HPA Bylaws with the Ministry of Health, in accordance with the College’s 2021/2022 budget.
The planned 4.0% fee increase for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians was originally approved at the February 2021 meeting as part of the College’s 2021/2022 budget and came into effect on November 1, 2021.
The College has an essential role to play in regulating pharmacy practice in British Columbia, and ensuring public safety is protected – a role made even more vital by the COVID-19 pandemic and overdose crisis. Regulation, along with patient needs and the healthcare environment have grown increasingly complex, resulting in increasing cost pressures to fulfill its legislated duty.
The pandemic has had an impact on the College budget. The College worked hard to find savings to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, reducing expenses in the past fiscal year for travel, professional development, and staffing and will continue to look for cost-saving opportunities in the coming year. The College also worked quickly to establish online and COVID-19 safe options for administering the JE examination which was essential to enabling new registrations and the additional fees that come with those.
The budget for 2021-2022 supports both the College’s essential operational functions as well as planned activities under the College’s upcoming strategic plan and balances the need for fee increases while maintaining an acceptable reserve balance.
Continuing to build up acceptable reserve balances as part of a muti-year budgeting process to ensure the College is financially secure and fiscally responsible. Because it generally takes almost three years for the revenue generated by fees to be realized in the College’s revenue, these fee increases must be implemented this year in order to ensure sufficient funding and reserve balances during the 2023/24 and 2024/25 fiscal years.
As such, in order to earn sufficient revenue to support the 2021/22 budget, registrant fees approved are:
|Pharmacist Registration||$809||4.0%||November 1, 2021|
|Pharmacy Technician Registration||$539||4.0%||November 1, 2021|
Even with this increase, the College’s fees for pharmacy professionals remain among the lowest in Canada, with annual pharmacist fees reaching up to $1,000 in other provinces. Pharmacy technician fees remain similar to those in Alberta and Ontario, which currently sit at $504/508.
The College is funded almost entirely through registrant and pharmacy licence fees. Previously, the College has been able to keep increases to a lower level by drawing on its reserves to reduce the fee increases required to fund the budget. However, the College cannot continue to draw as significantly on its reserves to offset fee increases as it needs to ensure it maintains appropriate reserves.