Inducements

Approved by Council April 10, 2014
Effective September 22, 2017
Code of Ethics Principle 1, Section 13
Standards of Practice
for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians
Standard 1, Section 1.17-1.20
Standards of Practice
for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies
Standard 1, Section 1.3

Background

The role of pharmacists and healthcare delivery is evolving. Pharmacists do more than dispense drugs. Pharmacists have transitioned into roles with greater patient care responsibilities. They coordinate drug therapy, adapt and refill prescriptions, give injections, and, in appropriate cases, prescribe drugs. In doing so, pharmacists are assuming more significant roles as essential healthcare professionals. This means developing trusted relationships with individuals and other health professionals in their team through good practices and meaningful, caring experiences. The way inducements were being used was disrupting this.


Policy 

The Alberta College of Pharmacists has amended its Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice to prohibit inducements that are offered on the condition that a patient obtains a drug product or a professional service from a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.

Inducement means:

  • a reward,
  • a gift, including a gift of cash, 
  • a prize,
  • a coupon,
  • points or other mechanisms in incentive or loyalty programs that can be redeemed for rewards, gifts, cash, prizes or other goods or services.

Drug product means:

  • Schedule 1 drugs (drugs that require a prescription)
  • Schedule 2 drugs (drugs that do not require a prescription but are available only from the pharmacist; there is no opportunity for patient self-selection)
  • Schedule 3 drugs provided under a prescription (Schedule 3 drugs are sold from the self-selection area of pharmacies and do not require a prescription, but prescriptions are sometimes issued)

Professional service means:

  • any service that falls within the practice of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians under Sections 3(1) and 3(2) of Schedule 19 of the Health Professions Act.

The prohibition applies to all pharmacy technicians, pharmacists, licensed pharmacies and proprietors of licensed pharmacies in Alberta.


What is not prohibited?

The prohibition does not apply to:

  • Schedule 3 drugs that are not provided under a prescription
  • Products or services that are not drug products or professional services

Additional resources