After relocating to Montreal, you’ll surely find that pharmacies in Quebec have a lot to offer. They don’t only handle prescription dropoff and pickup, consultations with pharmacists and over-the-counter medications. They are also great places to purchase beauty and health care products at various prices, vitamins, and typical grocery store products including beverages, candy, chocolate, dog food, baby needs, general household needs, cards, and more. While pharmacies do stock these sorts of household items, you’ll find higher prices than supermarkets, as you are paying for the convenience.
Be aware that generally, at pharmacies in Quebec, name brand medications are more expensive than generic brands, but for the most part they are identical in treating a problem. If your doctor doesn’t specify a name brand on a prescription, the pharmacy will fill the generic brand. It, however, you need a specific brand of medication, be sure to check that your doctor has written it on the prescription. If not, your insurance may not cover it.
When it comes to Pharmacies in Quebec, the two giants are Jean Coutu and Pharmaprix. After moving to Montreal, you’ll probably visit them frequently. Smaller pharmacies such as Uniprix, Familiprix and Proxim exist, however are not as prominent or as easy accessible as the two giants.
Previously owned by the Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation, and recently purchased by the Loblaws Companies, what’s called Pharmaprix in Quebec, goes by the name Shoppers Drug Mart in other Canadian provinces. Pharmaprix offers a loyalty rewards program, which is definitely worth signing up for as you receive points for purchases (not including prescriptions), that accumulate into dollar values. Life Brand and Quo are the two “home brands” you will find at Pharmaprix. They also offer many less expensive alternatives to the name brands, and are in most cases just as good.
To find a Pharmaprix near you, click here.
Originally founded by Louis Michaud and Jean Coutu in 1969, this pharmacy began as a mom-and-pop business in Montreal’s East End. Jean Coutu is now part of a Canadian chain of drugstores owned by the Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc., and has its headquarters right here in Longueuil, Quebec. Their home brand, Personnelle, offers an alternative to more expensive name brands, with measurable quality for a decreased price. They participate in the Air Miles Rewards Program, which grants you flying miles for items purchased at Jean Coutu on everything except prescription purchases.
To find a Jean Coutu near you, click here.
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(Photo: Johny-le-cowboy via Wikimedia Commons)