Are you freaking kidding me? First the government wants to mess with my Air Miles and now the B.C. College of Pharmacists wants to too? Well hear me now pharmacists, I will fight, oh yes, I will, and I’m hoping all my readers will as well.
Early last week I received a comment on a post I had written more than a year ago about how the Canadian government was stomping on one of the few perks we in the medically challenged field have by limiting the number of Air Miles we can get with our pharmaceutical purchases. It was a comment that left me puzzled at first (I read it at 3 am; doesn’t take much to confuse me at that hour) but became quite clear after an email I received later in the week notifying me of a proposed bylaw change by the B.C. College of Pharmacists that would wipe out ALL Air Miles and any other reward system for prescriptions.
And I repeat: Are you freaking kidding me???
Apparently the issue at hand is that some pharmacies are getting jealous of all the traffic going into other pharmacies. They believe programs like Air Miles, Save-on-More points, Shoppers Rewards, etc. are driving potential customers away from their shops. And maybe they are. But wouldn’t it be wise for those pharmacies to figure out their own incentives, design a program, slash prices, or at the very least lower their dispensing fees, which in some cases can be outrageous – I’m looking at you Shoppers!
I’m not going to lie, the reason I started going to Safeway in the first place was for the Air Miles. With the amount of prescriptions I get, it’s a gravy train in our household (Europe 2010, that was all Air Miles; Little Ring’s Peg Perego car seat, Airmiles; Europe 2013, that too will be Air Miles). Why shouldn’t I be granted a perk? I spend thousands of dollars on this disease every year, I’ve grown up with needles, pin pricks, life restrictions, don’t I deserve something in return? I sure as heck think so.
Three boxes of test strips = $164.97 (on sale) = 8 base Air Miles = 58 (7xs pharmacy) Air Miles = gravy train.
And don’t think for one second that if you take my Air Miles away, I am going to suddenly flock to your pharmacy. If anything, I am going to be more pissed off NOT to go to your damn pharmacy. I trust my pharmacists, I like my pharmacists, I have built relationships with my pharmacists (one even personally called me a couple months ago to let me know that she had taken a job elsewhere and wouldn’t be at my pharmacy when I returned from mat leave… she didn’t want me thinking she had ditched me!) What have these other pharmacies done for me? Oh right, tried taking my perk away. Not cool, not cool at all!
What’s next? You’re gonna try telling Costco they can’t sell meds at their extremely discounted prices? At this rate, it wouldn’t surprise me.
So, if you don’t want your perks taken away – this affects ALL loyalty programs – speak up. The proposed bylaw change is open for public comment up until Dec. 28, 2012, where it will then be reviewed by the College of Pharmacists and the government before a decision is made.
Comments can be sent by email to the College of Pharmacists at HPA@bcpharmacists.org and the Health Minister at email@example.com.