Longueuil, Quebec, July 1, 2015 - The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. (the "Corporation" or the "Jean Coutu Group") understands that on June 29, 2015, the Québec provincial association of pharmacists, Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires (AQPP) sought the approval by its members of a confidential agreement in principle between the AQPP and the Ministry of Health and Social Services concerning certain aspects of the remuneration of pharmacists, as reported by recent media reports.
The Corporation understands that the agreement in principle contemplates the removal of the 15% cap on professional allowances which may be paid by generic manufacturers to pharmacists when buying their prescription drug products.
The agreement in principle must be approved by the Quebec Treasury Board in order to become effective. The Corporation expects the Quebec Treasury Board to consider the agreement in principle shortly but cannot predict whether such approval will take place and if so, on what terms. If the 15% cap on professional allowances is removed, our consolidated results would be affected because higher professional allowances than as currently allowed would reduce the profitability of our subsidiary Pro Doc.
If and when ratified, the confidentiality of the agreement will be lifted and its terms will be definitive, and we may be in a position to provide more information.
About The Jean Coutu Group
The Jean Coutu Group is one of the most trusted names in Canadian pharmacy retailing. The Corporation operates a network of 416 franchised stores located in the provinces of Québec, New Brunswick and Ontario under the banners of PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique, PJC Santé and PJC Santé Beauté, which employs close to 20,000 people. Furthermore, the Jean Coutu Group owns Pro Doc Ltd ("Pro Doc"), a Québec-based subsidiary and manufacturer of generic drugs.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, and which are based on the Corporation’s current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions that were made by the Corporation in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends. All statements that address expectations or projections about the future, including statements about the Corporation’s strategy for growth, costs, operating or financial results, are forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release, including statements regarding the prospects of the Corporation’s industry and the Corporation’s prospects, plans, financial position and business strategy may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Canadian securities legislation and regulations. Some of the forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "expect", "intend", "estimate", "project", "could", “should”, “would”, "anticipate", "plan", "foresee", "believe" or "continue" or the negatives of these terms or variations of them or similar terminology. Although the Corporation believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These statements do not reflect the potential impact of any nonrecurring items or of any mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, asset write-downs or other transactions or charges that may be announced or that may occur after the date hereof. While the list below of cautionary statements is not exhaustive, some important factors that could affect the Corporation’s future operating results, financial position and cash flows and could cause its actual results to differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements are changes in the legislation or the regulatory environment as it relates to the sale of prescription drugs and the pharmacy exercise, the success of the Corporation’s business model, changes in laws and regulations, or in their interpretations, changes to tax regulations and accounting pronouncements, the cyclical and seasonal variations in the industry in which the Corporation operates, the intensity of competitive activity in the industry in which the Corporation operates, the supplier and brand reputations, the Corporation's ability to attract and retain pharmacists, labour disruptions, including possibly strikes and labour protests, the accuracy of management’s assumptions and other factors that are beyond the Corporation's control. These and other factors could cause the Corporation's actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any estimates or projections of future performance or results expressed or implied in those forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of assisting in understanding the Corporation’s financial position and results of operation and to present information about management’s current expectations and plans relating to the future. Investors and others are thus cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes and they should not place undue reliance on them. For more information on the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that would cause the Corporation’s actual results to differ from current expectations, please also refer to the Corporation’s public filings available at www.sedar.com and www.jeancoutu.com. Further details and descriptions of these and other factors are disclosed in the Corporation’s Annual Information Form under "Risk Factors" and also in the "Critical accounting estimates", "Risks and uncertainties" and "Strategies and outlook" sections of the Corporation's annual management's discussion and analysis. The forward-looking statements in this press release reflect the Corporation’s expectations as of the date hereof and are subject to change after such date. The Corporation expressly disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by the applicable securities laws.