Sale and dispensing of drugs

This resource outlines what you can expect when you buy a drug from your physician.

What to expect

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia is committed to your protection and safety.

This is a summary of what you can expect of your physician in situations when they sell or dispense a drug to you.

General expectations

It is generally expected that your physician will not sell or dispense drugs, as this service is most often provided by a pharmacist. However, there are certain situations where your physician may be best suited to sell or dispense a drug to you.

Your physician may sell or dispense a drug to you when

  • the drug is needed for immediate administration by the physician as part of an acute treatment or therapeutic procedure performed by the physician,
  • the drug is needed in an unpredictable and emergent situation,
  • you are accessing the drug as part of a highly specialized treatment that cannot be accessed at your local pharmacy,
  • you are accessing the drug for a lower price than what you may be able to obtain elsewhere, or
  • you are accessing the drug from your physician through Health Canada’s Special Access Program.

Information sharing expectations

Before selling or dispensing a drug to you, your physician must always let you know if it is available elsewhere, and provide you with the option of purchasing the drug from a pharmacy of your choice.

Pricing expectations

Physicians must not sell a drug at a price greater than the actual price they paid, plus reasonable and justifiable handling costs such as shipping and storage of the drug.

Read the College's practice standard.
Read the College's practice standard, which outlines practice requirements for physicians when...