Group Calls to Reject Bans on Reward Points for Drugs

Group Calls to Reject Bans on Reward Points for DrugsA group representing consumers and pharmacists is calling on the next B. C. government to reject a ban on customers from earning the rewards points.

Randy Konrad, the Regional Pharmacy Manager with Canada Safeway said that loyalty programs help in building stronger bonds between patients and pharmacists. This also encourages patients to take their medications properly and timely.

The petition received 10,000 signatures within 24 hours. College of Pharmacists of BC has said that they are reviewing the matter. The online petition has been launched by The Coalition for Consumer Choice aiming towards forcing candidates to take a stand on the issue.

Currently, rewards points are earned by the customers on loyalty cards like AirMiles, Optimum and Aeroplan. However, the College of Pharmacists of BC has proposed a ban on it as it thinks that those points influence when and where consumers fill their prescriptions.

Roxanne Stewart of the Chronic Pain Association of Canada said that those points help people with chronic conditions and quite isolated at home to go out for a dinner or a movie. Some of those little perks in life are the things that can't be offered on disability budget.

According to a poll released by the coalition, three-quarters of British Columbians surveyed think it's unfair for the government to take away loyalty rewards on prescriptions from the customers. The three-quarter of those polled think that there is no need for the government to dictate how businesses market themselves.