There’s a whole economy of loyalty points that for many are a deciding factor for their purchases. Airmiles, Movie Rewards, Hotel Rewards, my son’s favourite bagel place where he’s aiming to buy enough to get one free.
That’s why I found it strange when the Alberta College of Pharmacists tried to impose a ban on reward programs for pharmacies. On the surface it argued that such inducements could cause harm to patients. Those points could have patients going to certain pharmacies simply because they offer the program. I would like to think every pharmacy, program or no program, is thinking of the health of their patients. Scratch below the surface and you can see how smaller pharmacies didn’t like big pharmacies using such programs to attract or even steal their customers. Fortunately an Alberta judge didn’t agree with the College of Pharmacists ruling the body does not have the power to impose such a ban.
Paying for prescriptions can be costly when you add up the price of the drugs and the dispensing fees that vary from one drug store to the next. Patients (customers) should at least feel they are getting something, even if it’s a measly reward point, for their money. Trying to stop that is simply an attempt at controlling the business of pharmacies.