According to a report from Canada’s CBC News, the Alberta College of Pharmacists is seeking to prohibit pharmacies from rewarding customers with Aeroplan miles and AIR MILES when purchasing prescription drugs and items kept behind the pharmacy counter.
“It would not apply to health aids and devices that individuals might purchase to manage their diabetes for example,” said Greg Eberhart, registrar for the college. “It would not prohibit the collection of points or incentives where an individual uses their credit card or their debit card.”
He says since pharmacists can now prescribe drugs, the College wants to make sure there are no conflicts perceived, or otherwise in the patient’s care.
Mitchell Merowitz, vice-president of corporate affairs with AIR MILES Reward Program, disagrees with Eberhart’s assesment. “We believe that consumers should have the opportunity to collect points and loyalty points and other incentives with not just front of store purchases but prescription drugs as well. This has been in practice for many years and there should be no reason to prohibit it now.”
Bottom line: If the court of public opinion rules, the mileage earning will continue. As one consumer said, “The College of Pharmacists has no reason to take away my AIR MILES rewards for purchasing medications. If someone using a credit card can get rewards by purchasing meds then why shouldn’t I get rewards for paying cash?”