Independent Pharmacists reverse course

The Council of Independent Community Pharmacy Owners is backing down from threats to stop honoring provincial government drug cards. Yesterday afternoon, CICPO vice-president Robert Doyle said that unless the government agreed to negotiate directly with the group on generic drug issues and dispensing fees, more than 65 pharmacies would stop letting customers pay using the government drug plan. On Tuesday, it looked like CICPO was set to defy the government, but this morning the group is changing its tune. “While the Council believes that any action taken by government on the pharmacies, pharmacists in charge, or staff pharmacists would not hold up through due process – the costs to defend these numerous charges would be prohibitive and would cause massive chaos to our members, their families and most importantly to the people they serve,” CICPO said in a news release. It is unclear what CICPO’s next move will be, or whether the pharmacy owners will withdraw from the prescription drug program in November, when they are legally allowed to do so.

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