Corporate pressure led Shoppers Drug Mart staff to bill unnecessary medication reviews, pharmacists say – CBC

Internal letter describes push for billable work as as ‘borderline abusive’

Feb 28, 2024

Sitting at her home in Ottawa earlier this month, Mary Fernando got an out-of-the-blue call from her pharmacy at Shoppers Drug Mart.

An employee on the other end of the line asked if she was still using two inhalers to control her asthma, as she had been doing consistently for years. She said yes.

The employee then asked whether she was happy with the medication. Again, Fernando said yes, then quickly ended the call — all within five minutes.

“It was just a bizarre conversation,” she said.

Fernando later realized Shoppers Drug Mart had billed for the conversation as a virtual medication review under Ontario’s MedsCheck program, which reimburses pharmacies in Ontario for meeting with patients to go over their prescriptions.

“I could not imagine a milder patient than me, right? And a more useless MedCheck,” Fernando said in an interview.

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