Ban on inducements reinstated

September 22, 2017, was a significant day for the practice of pharmacy in Alberta. 

That morning, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled that ACP is within its mandate to ban pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and licensed pharmacies from offering inducements in exchange for the provision of prescribed drugs, Schedule 2 drugs, or professional services. 

The Court of Appeal overturned a Court of Queen’s Bench ruling from April, 2016, that prevented ACP from enforcing the ban, which was first introduced in 2014. The ban prevents pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and licensed pharmacies from offering loyalty programs, reward points, cash, or other incentives to patients for the products and services mentioned above.

The Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision supported ACP Council’s amendments to the college’s Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies, and Code of Ethics. These policies are consistent with those in other jurisdictions and professions, such as medicine.  

What’s most important to pharmacy professionals is the health of the individuals they serve, their families, and their communities. This ruling helps ensure that professional relationships and decisions important to the care of individuals are focused on the health needs of the individual.