Petition calls on Government to Stop Alberta College of Pharmacists Ban
EDMONTON, April 23, 2014 /CNW/ - The Coalition for Consumer Choice (CCC) has launched a petition calling on the Alberta government to stop the Alberta College of Pharmacists imposed ban that would prohibit Albertans from earning loyalty points for pharmacy purchases.
The Coalition has launched the "I Earned It" petition at www.iearneditpetition.ca, providing a strong and united voice for Albertans opposed to the ban. Nearly three quarters of Albertans surveyed* believe that it is unfair to ban loyalty rewards. The Coalition is asking the government to stand up for Albertans and stop the ban.
"Many of our members rely on reward programs to help make purchases more affordable," said Roxanne Stewart, Vice President of the Chronic Pain Association of Canada. "If the government doesn't stop this ban, then what purchases will be banned next? Albertans need to tell the politicians to protect consumer access to reward programs."
"Removing loyalty rewards for pharmacy purchases would be unfair to consumers," said Sandra Aylward, Vice President, Professional and Regulatory Affairs, Sobeys Inc. "Loyalty programs like AIR MILES and Club Sobeys build stronger bonds between patients and their pharmacies, encourage better patient adherence to prescription medication and can result in other positive health behaviours."
The Alberta College of Pharmacists has provided no objective evidence to support their position. Among those surveyed, ninety per cent of Albertans* believe that offering loyalty programs has no impact on the patient's positive perception of the professionalism of a pharmacist, consistent with findings from other Canadian studies.
"Removing loyalty points for prescription purchases would be unfair to consumers and anticompetitive," said Bruce Cran, President of the Consumers' Association of Canada which is supporting the Coalition's call to stop the ban. "Government needs to ensure issues of consumer choice are left to consumers and the marketplace to decide."
The Coalition is encouraging all Albertans to sign the petition at www.iearneditpetition.ca, as well as contacting their MLA to voice their objections before the ban comes into effect on June 10, 2014.
About the Coalition for Consumer Choice
The Coalition for Consumer Choice comprises of Sobeys and Safeway pharmacies, the Chronic Pain Association of Canada, the AIR MILES Reward Program, supported by the Consumers' Association of Canada and thousands of concerned citizens in Alberta. Coalition members represent a strong and united voice calling on the government of Alberta to stop the ban on loyalty points in Alberta pharmacies.
Fieldwork was completed in December 2012 by Research Now on behalf of Canada Safeway and the AIR MILES® Reward Program. 1,000 Albertans were surveyed by telephone over a one week period. The completed interviews provide a 95 per cent confidence level and are representative of the main or partial decision maker for prescription medication in the household and, of these individuals, those who have ﬁlled a prescription in the previous six months. Results are published at www.iearnedit.ca.
SOURCE: Coalition for Consumer Choice
For further information: John Graham, Director of Public Affairs & Government Relations, Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc., (403) 730.3511, firstname.lastname@example.org