Inducements, specifically rewards points and airmiles being offered on the purchase of prescription medicaions will be a thing of the past in the near-ish future. On April 18th, the Alberta College of Pharmacists announced that it would move forward with the process of banning these inducements. There is no proposed timeline for this ban, but it can’t happen soon enough. By bannining inducements Alberta will be joining Ontario, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and British Columbia who have already done so.
Why do I, along with the majority of the pharmacy profession, beleive inducements should be banned?
There are many reasons, some of which include the following:
- it calls into question the integrity of the pharmacy profession
- it says that the pharmacist’s clinical decision is secondary after the rules of the points program
- it thereby gives a mechanism for some pharmacists employers to unduly influence the pharmacist by placing time and resource limitations on that healthcare practitioner
- they contribute to medication waste, and therefore taxpayer dollars
- inducements cost the health care system, and thus taxpayers; they are an opportunity cost that should be reallocated to improve the access to care for everyone
- they have the potential to negatively impact treatment goals and health outcomes
- they disrupt relationships between patients, pharmacists and other health team members
- they erode the professional status of pharmacists
- prevents the pharmacist from being able to make independent decisions that he/she knows is best for the health outcomes of their patients – that’s you!
For more information on the banning of inducements offered by pharmacy visit:
The practice of offering inducements, is bad medicine and this author feels that banning inducements is a big leap forward for the profession of pharmacy.