Case:Sobeys West Inc et al v
College of Pharmacists of British Columbia, leave to
appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada (Docket 36917), 2016 BCCA
41, 2014 BCSC 1414
Nature of case: Leave to appeal with the Supreme
Court of Canada
Successful party: College of Pharmacists of
Date of decision: July 7, 2016
The College of Pharmacists of British Columbia
(CPBC) is the regulatory body responsible for
licensing and registering pharmacists, pharmacies and pharmacy
technicians in British Columbia. The CPBC enacted bylaws that would
prohibit pharmacists from providing "customer incentives
programs" (including rebates, gifts, discounts, money,
customer loyalty schemes, coupons, goods or rewards) to patients
for filling a prescription or obtaining professional services from
pharmacists. Sobeys West Inc., who operates pharmacies that offer
such customer incentive programs, sought to quash the bylaws as
being overbroad and unreasonable. The BC Supreme Court struck down
the bylaws. The BC Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and set aside
the decision of the lower court (reported here). Sobeys sought leave to appeal with the
Supreme Court of Canada.
Sobey's application for leave to appeal from the judgment of
the BC Court of Appeal (2016 BCCA 1414) was dismissed with
The CPBC bylaws prohibiting pharmacists from providing incentives
remain in force.
Alberta appeal pending
In a parallel case in Alberta (Sobeys West Inc v Alberta
College of Pharmacists, 2016 ABQB 232), Sobeys sought judicial review
of amended provisions of the Alberta College of Pharmacists'
(ACP) Code of Ethicsand
Standards that prohibit customer incentives. The Court held
that the APC had acted outside its legislated scope of authority by
enacting the incentive prohibition (reported here).
The APC has sought appeal of the Court's judgment (Court File
No. 1603-0120AC). The APC's appeal is currently pending and
will likely be heard by the Alberta Court of Appeal in 2017.
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