Alberta pharmacies to stop accepting rewards cards

This means shoppers will no longer be able to use their Air Miles, Aeroplan or Optimum rewards cards when paying for prescription medications.

Changes go into effect May 1

Albertans will no longer be able to collect loyalty points or participate in incentive-based rewards programs starting May 1.

The Alberta College of Pharmacists has changed its code of ethics, moving towards banning any kind of inducement tied to medical treatment at pharmacies.

This means shoppers will no longer be able to use their Air Miles, Aeroplan or Optimum rewards cards when paying for prescription medications.

Speaking for the college, registrar Greg Eberhart said the change is part of the growing role pharmacists and pharmacy assistants are taking in Alberta health care.

“It really focuses on enhancing the credibility and integrity of pharmacy, and it's really important that we establish an environment where trust can be continued,” he said Saturday. “And we can be sure that pharmacists are able to contribute to the care that their patients require.”

Eberhart said pharmacists will need to distance themselves from commercial incentives.

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