Additional Costs for Drugs and Anaesthetic Agents
On March 25, 2021, the Quebec Court of Appeal heard this case jointly with the Raunet matter, in a dispute regarding the Superior Court’s jurisdiction to hear the class action. In a judgment (French only) rendered on April 23, 2021, the appeal was dismissed in relation to all parties except the RAMQ. As this class action was already authorized, this decision means that it can now move forward.
The members of this class action include all those who paid more than the cost price for the use of a drug or an anesthetic agent by a physician, an optometrist or a private clinic in the course of an insured act covered by the RAMQ. The fees covered by the Raunet class action cannot be claimed in this case.
Are you a member?
You are covered by this class action if:
– You have paid for the use of a drug or anaesthetic agent by a physician, optometrist or private clinic;
– The amount you paid was greater than the cost to the physician, optometrist or private clinic;
– The use of this drug or anesthetic agent was made in the course of an insured act covered by the RAMQ; AND
– This amount was paid between May 15, 2011 and January 26, 2017.
Summary of the class action
The plaintiff alleges that physicians, optometrists and medical clinics illegally billed their patients fees greater than the actual cost associated with a drug or an anesthetic agent used in the performance of an insured act covered by the RAMQ. The plaintiff is also pursuing the Government of Quebec because it knew about and encouraged the practice through its inaction.
The Health Insurance Act is the law that allows the entire population of Quebec to have free access to medical care. This law prohibits extra-billing, including the billing of accessory fees like the ones at issue in this case, since its purpose is to make the health system free of charge for the public. However, the Act does call for some clear exceptions to this prohibition, including the billing of a specific incidental fee for the use of a drug or anaesthetic agent. However, the amount billed to the patient must not exceed the actual cost of the professional. Since the defendants failed to respect this condition, the practice is considered illegal billing.
The plaintiff seeks to put an end to this harmful practice on behalf of the Quebec public and to obtain a just compensation for the fees that were illegally collected.
The class action was authorized by the Honorable Michel Yergeau of the Superior Court in a judgment (French only) issued on August 18, 2017.
You can register to receive information about this case. We will keep you informed of developments in the lawsuit as they occur. To do so, you must complete the form at the bottom of the page and indicate your email address.
For more information on how to become a member of a class action, see our section What is a class action?
The members are jointly represented by TJL and Grenier Verbauwhede Avocats.