Incentives for prescriptions to be prohibited in N.B.

·1 min read
Prescriptions and pharmacy services will no longer be eligible for rewards programs starting next month. (Katherine Holland/CBC - image credit)
Prescriptions and pharmacy services will no longer be eligible for rewards programs starting next month. (Katherine Holland/CBC - image credit)

New Brunswickers will soon no longer be able to earn rewards for prescriptions and pharmacy services.

The New Brunswick College of Pharmacists came to the decision at its annual general meeting Saturday to prohibit pharmacies from offering consumer incentives including cash, prizes, coupons or points for some pharmacy-related purchases.

The regulatory change comes into effect on July 13 to allow time for pharmacies to adjust services.

"This change has been discussed for a long time," said Adele Wallace, president of the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists, in a news release.

"The college must provide a regulatory environment where decisions about patient health care are based solely on the patient's health with no other real or perceived conflict of interest."

Wallace said she's pleased with the decision, which will allow New Brunswickers to choose their pharmacy based solely on quality of care without the influence of incentives.

This policy has become a trend across Canada, with New Brunswick being the seventh province to apply it.

British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have already prohibited consumer incentives on prescriptions.

Anastasia Shiamptanis, the registrar of the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists, said the decision was made because pharmacists are being asked to play a larger role in Canadians' health care.

"As our role evolves, it's a growing view among regulators that consumer incentives for prescriptions and pharmacy services are unethical for the profession and are a conflict of interest," said Shiamptanis.

She said the majority of Canadians already do not receive these rewards on prescriptions and pharmacy services.

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