A recent Toronto Star article has shed light on what they call questionable payments from drug companies.
The report focuses on McKesson Canada, which is a health care services and supply company (McKesson has a distribution centre in Trenton).
It points to pharmacists getting alleged unlawful kick backs which could be masked as various rebates or incentives.
The Star investigation alleges that McKesson Canada has shelled out questionable payments not only to pharmacists, but also to former presidents of the Ontario College of Pharmacists.
Rebates are illegal in Ontario.
The company’s response to the allegations is that their payments are legal and are not tied to the sale of drugs. A spokesperson says they are called market-value payments and reimburse pharmacy owners for goodwill and services.
Ethical concerns arise around payments, that they could lead to a monopoly of certain company’s drugs in stores.
One pharmacist argues that the payments to pharmacies are needed to help cover costs of doing business.
The Star article also discussed incentives to sign up small pharmacies to join larger pharmacy chains.