Jean Coutu pre­dicts rule changes in Quebec around generic drugs will bring some con­sis­tency,

Quebec’s new pharma rules kick in as re­tailer pre­pares for takeover by Metro


MON­TREAL— As it pre­pares to join the Metro gro­cery chain net­work, Quebec phar­macy com­pany Jean Coutu Group Inc. an­tic­i­pates some sta­bil­ity af­ter years of pro­vin­cial govern­ment in­ter­ven­tion in a bid to lower generic-drug costs.

A ceil­ing on pro­fes­sional al­lowances paid to phar­ma­cists by gener­ic­drug man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Jean Coutu’s Pro Doc will be re­stored to 15 per cent next week.

And a new law lim­it­ing phar­ma­cists to buy­ing half of their to­tal generic drug pur­chases from one generic drug­maker is ex­pected to have lit­tle im­pact on its phar­ma­cist own­ers.

The Quebec-based phar­macy chain earned $47.8 mil­lion in its most re­cent quar­ter, down from $51.5 mil­lion a year ago even as rev­enue im- proved.

The drug­store re­tailer said the profit amounted to 26 cents per di­luted share for the three-month pe­riod ended Sept. 2, two cents per share above an­a­lyst fore­casts and down from 28 cents per di­luted share in the same pe­riod a year ear­lier.

Rev­enue in­creased 6 per cent to $744.3 mil­lion, up from $701.2 mil­lion.

Last week, Jean Coutu agreed to a $4.5-bil­lion takeover of­fer from gro­cery store chain Metro.

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