Ban on Customer Incentives and Loyalty Programs in B.C. Pharmacies Upheld by B.C. Court of Appeal

Overview

Food and Drug Law
Food and Drug Regulatory LawOn January 27, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled to uphold the ban imposed on customer incentives and loyalty programs put in place by the College of Pharmacists for British Columbia. The B.C. Court of Appeal held that the ban proposed by the College was reasonable, and that the College was not required to wait for empirical evidence of harm to patients before enacting a ban. The Court also held that the College was not required to select the least intrusive possible action to address the possible harm from customer incentives, and that an outright ban was one reasonable course of action open to the College. 

The College has announced that following this ruling, the ban is now in force—meaning that pharmacists may not provide customer incentives or implement customer loyalty programs for prescriptions or pharmacy services. Parties have until Mar 27, 2016 to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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