Is anyone else following this whole mess about Shoppers Drug Mart cutting back their pharmacy hours if the Ontario Government doesn't change their mind about banning allowances to pharmacists from drug companies?
They're targeting the health minister's city right now.
I hope this backfires on Shoppers Drug Mart and that people just refuse to go to them. They make absolutely gigantic profits. And they're crying poor? Give me a break.
I go to Shoppers all the time. It's probably time for me to start going to an indie.
Matthews kept relatively quiet last week after the reforms were announced and the pharmacy industry warned it would have to close stores, cut hours and provide reduced services to customers – or perhaps have to charge fees for such services as advising on medications and calling doctors for prescription repeats.
The tone of her letter Monday – including the accusation it was "irresponsible" for a few Shoppers stores in Toronto to stop filling prescriptions for a short time when she made her drug reform announcement last Wednesday – took the pharmacy industry by surprise.
"It certainly isn't helpful using that kind of political rhetoric," Nadine Saby, chief executive of the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, told a news conference at Queen's Park.
The government needs to take "responsibility" for any moves by stores to cut hours, staff and services or start charging for services, because it's removing the $750 million professional allowances but putting back just one-third of that for higher dispensing fees, support to pharmacies in rural and underserviced areas and payments to help pharmacists provide some medical services, she added.
"The coalition cannot guarantee what an individual pharmacist will do," Saby said, declining comment on the Shoppers Drug Mart moves in London but saying the coalition group known as Ontario's Community Pharmacies does not "condone" pharmacists not filling prescriptions in protest.
"The Ontario Pharmacists Association will not ever tell pharmacists to withdraw services from their patients," said chief executive Dennis Darby, whose group is a member of the coalition along with the Independent Pharmacists of Ontario.
Matthews is taking aim at generic drug prices because the government spends $800 million a year on them for seniors and social assistance recipients covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit program.