Retail News Breaks
Loblaw changes dispensing fees at nofrills pharmacies
June 14th, 2010
BRAMPTON, Ontario – Loblaw Cos. has changed the usual and customary dispensing fees for drug products to one common fee at all of its nofrills banner store pharmacies in Ontario.
The Canadian food and drug retailer also said Monday that pharmacies in nofrills stores will continue to reduce the co-payment on customers' Ontario Drug Benefits-eligible prescriptions by $2.
"The move reinforces the nofrills stores' commitment to bring great prices every day and complements the convenience of in-store pharmacy services from highly trained and trusted professionals," Andrew Iacobucci, senior vice president of Loblaw's drug business unit, said in a statement.
The nofrills banner has over 130 franchise stores across Ontario, according to the chain's web site.
Loblaw said the dispensing fee change builds on recent changes it has made to some pharmacy services in Ontario stores.
At the beginning of this month, Loblaw announced that it was extending pharmacy hours for several of its supermarket banners in Ontario and implementing technology to speed the filling of prescriptions. The retailer said the move in part was designed to enable pharmacists to spend more time with patients. Plans also call for the company to recruit pharmacy students and interns as well as pharmacists to help ensure customer needs are met.
Loblaw's expanded pharmacy services in Ontario come at a time when Canadian drug store retailers are scaling back service and/or hiring in the province in response to dramatically reduced pharmacy reimbursement from the government's drug reform plan.
In April, Katz Group's Rexall chain said it was instituting a hiring freeze, while Shoppers Drug Mart announced that it was reducing store hours. Loblaw, meanwhile, reported that it would be "business as usual" at its Ontario pharmacies.
"We recognize that the government's proposed changes will have an impact on our business," Iacobucci said in a statement at the time. "However, we believe our customers' interests are paramount, and we will continue to offer the services our customers expect from us."
Loblaw has more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores across Canada, and about half of the stores contain pharmacies.
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