Medications and Biologicals

Medications and biologicals are generally taxable, but some are zero-rated. Medications intended for human use are zero-rated when they meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • they are federally controlled under the Food and Drugs Act, the Food and Drug Regulations and the Narcotic Control Regulations
  • they are dispensed by a physician or dentist, or prescribed by a physician, a dentist or an authorized individual
  • they are authorized under the Food and Drug Regulations for use in emergency treatment

Dispensing services

Only pharmacists are authorized to dispense drugs at retail and, normally, they charge fees for this service. These fees, referred to as "dispensing fees," are zero-rated when supplied in conjunction with the sale of zero-rated prescription drugs.

For more information, consult the brochure The QST and the GST/HST: How They Apply to Medical Devices and Drugs (IN-211-V).

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