Sobeys threatens to sue Alberta College of Pharmacists over rewards points ban

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Sobeys is threatening to sue the Alberta College of Pharmacists over a reward points ban. The Alberta College of Pharmacists adopted a resolution prohibiting patients from collecting rewards points on pharmacy purchases, starting May 1st, 2014. 

According to a survey conducted in 2012 by Research Now, 73% of Albertans believe a ban such as this to be unfair. Sobeys Inc. will file a legal challenge on behalf of both Safeway and Sobeys pharmacy operations in an effort to overturn the ban. Sobeys’ has a rewards points program called Club Sobeys.

“We strongly disagree with the College’s decision,” said Sandra Aylward, Vice President, Professional and Regulatory Affairs, Sobeys Inc. “Studies show that loyalty programs build stronger bonds between patients and their pharmacies, and encourage better patient adherence to prescription medication, which is in the best interests of patient health care.”

Sobeys is encouraging pharmacy patients to contact their MLA to express concerns over the ban.

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Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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  1. Please don’t threaten. Just file suit, and invite your customers to join in a class action lawsuit. The college and other similar bodies across Canada need to be taught that we don’t need them interfering in our affairs and public companies business. This is not about ethics or professionalism, it’s about anti competition, and the college has no regard for it’s Pharmacist’s customers.

    • Interesting strategy, Travis. At the same time, lawyers often encourage settlement outside of court where possible, for a variety of reasons. Not only am I the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider, I’m also a lawyer with some corporate experience.


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