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Important notice

Certain services of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) will be suspended from January 27 to February 19, 2023

To renew your Health Insurance Card, plan your visit at SAAQ before or after this period. Many SAAQ service outlets offer appointments to avoid waiting on-site. To find out more, refer to our News release of December 16.

Free access to prescription drugs

With the programs providing free access to prescription drugs, supplies and services, eligible persons can receive at no cost the health care they require according to their situation. Persons insured by the Québec Health Insurance Plan can obtain these drugs, supplies and services at their pharmacy. Only the services received in Québec are reimbursable.

Screening self-tests for COVID-19

The Program for the distribution of screening self-tests for COVID-19 is intended for persons age 14 and over. It provides free rapid screening tests for COVID-19 at pharmacies. Every person can obtain a box of 5 tests per 30-day period.

Present the following documents to your pharmacist:

Particular situations

Without a Health Insurance Card, you can obtain a box of screening tests under certain circumstances, for example if:

  • You are homeless
  • You usually live in Québec or are established there, but are not eligible for health insurance

Sexually transmitted and blood-borne diseases

The Free Drug Program for the Treatment of Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Diseases (STDs) is intended for persons suffering from an infection targeted by the program and those who have been in contact with such persons. The program provides, free of charge, for certain drugs prescribed to treat infections.

  • Clinical symptoms associated with STDs: Inflammation of the pelvis, fallopian tubes (salpingitis), cervix (cervicitis), urethra (uretritis), rectum (rectitis), anus (proctitis) or epididymis (epididymitis)
  • Chlamydiosis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Soft chancre, lymphogranuloma venereum, granuloma inguinale
  • Mycoplasma genitalium

  1. Obtain a prescription from a physician or a nurse
  2. Present the following documents to your pharmacist:
    • Your prescription
    • Your valid Health Insurance Card
    • Your valid claim slip (carnet de réclamation), if you are a recipient of a financial assistance program with claim slip (carnet de réclamation)

Naloxone to treat opioid overdoses

The Program respecting the provision of the medication naloxone and certain supplies free of charge allows for rapid intervention when persons overdose on opioids. It covers naloxone and the supplies necessary to administer it.

Naloxone is sold without a prescription, under pharmaceutical control. To obtain it, present the following documents to the pharmacist:

  • Your valid Health Insurance Card
  • Your valid claim slip (carnet de réclamation), if you are a recipient of a financial assistance program with claim slip (carnet de réclamation)

Urgent care and other special circumstances

Without having to present your Health Insurance Card, you can obtain naloxone and related supplies in certain circumstances. For instance if you are:

  • in need of urgent care
  • a minor age 14 or over
  • homeless
  • a person not residing in Québec (you will have to present an identity document, such as a passport)

Abortion pill to interrupt a pregnancy

The Program for free universal access to voluntary medical termination of pregnancy (abortion pill) enables women who wish to terminate a pregnancy of 9 weeks or less to obtain the abortion pill free of charge. The Program also covers certain drugs related to a voluntary termination of pregnancy, notably, those used to control nausea.

  1. Obtain a prescription from a physician or a nurse
  2. Present the following documents to your pharmacist:
    • Your prescription
    • Your valid Health Insurance Card
    • Your valid claim slip (carnet de réclamation), if you are a recipient of a financial assistance program with claim slip (carnet de réclamation)

Obtaining the abortion pill from a physician

Physicians can also supply the abortion pill for free under certain conditions. This is the case, for example, if they practice in a clinic providing voluntary termination of pregnancy services.

The abortion pill is used to terminate a pregnancy that has been confirmed by a physician. It is not to be confused with the “morning-after pill” (emergency oral contraception).

The morning-after pill is an emergency contraceptive that may be used for up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

Pharmaceutical treatments for COVID-19 and influenza

The Community Pharmacy Access Program for Certain COVID-19 and Influenza Pharmaceutical Treatments provides you, free of charge, with treatments based on your situation.

PaxlovidTM

If you are at risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19, PaxlovidTM may reduce the severity of your symptoms.

You must meet certain specific criteria, for example:

  • Have had symptoms for 5 days or less
  • Not be hospitalized with COVID-19

EvusheldTM (as prevention for persons at high risk)

EvusheldTM is a medication that may reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms in certain situations. You may be eligible if you are aged 18 years or older and are, for example, in one of the following situations:

Oseltamivir

Flu antiviral medication Oseltamivir may reduce the risk of developing serious complications from influenza that could lead to medical consultation or hospitalization. You may be eligible target groups. You may be eligible for this medication if you belong to one of the target risk groups.

Present the following documents at your pharmacy:

  • A prescription from a physician, a specialized nurse practitioner or a pharmacist
  • Your valid Health Insurance Card
  • Your valid claim slip (carnet de réclamation), if you are a recipient of a financial assistance program with claim slip (carnet de réclamation)

You must meet certain specific criteria, for example:

  • Have had symptoms for 5 days or less
  • Not be hospitalized with COVID-19

Particular situations

If you do not have a Health Insurance Card, you may obtain a treatment for COVID-19 under certain circumstances, for example if:

  • You are homeless
  • You usually live in Québec or are settled there, but are not eligible for health insurance

Tuberculosis or chemoprophylaxis

The Free Drug Program for Chemoprophylaxis and the Treatment of Tuberculosis is intended for persons suffering from tuberculosis and those having been in contact with someone with tuberculosis. The program provides, free of charge, the drugs prescribed to treat tuberculosis or to prevent it.

  1. Obtain a prescription from a physician or a nurse
  2. Present the following documents to your pharmacist:
    • Your prescription
    • Your valid Health Insurance Card
    • Your valid claim slip (carnet de réclamation), if you are a recipient of a financial assistance program with claim slip (carnet de réclamation)

If you have to pay for prescription drugs and pharmaceutical services

You may have to pay for prescription drugs and services provided by your pharmacist if you do not present your valid Health Insurance Card and, if applicable, your valid claim slip (carnet de réclamation). However, you can apply for a reimbursement by going back to your pharmacy with the necessary documents.