Drugs and Biologicals

Drugs and biologicals are generally taxable, but some are zero-rated. Drugs 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 for personal consumption or use by the individual or a person related to them. 
  • They are dispensed under a prescription issued by a physician, dentist or authorized individual for personal consumption or use by the individual named on the prescription.
  • They are authorized under the Food and Drug Regulations for use in emergency treatment.
Note

Drugs and substances intended for agricultural or veterinary use are excluded.

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 and Assistive Devices and Drugs (IN-211-V).

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