(RE: Why pay more? Because I’m worth it, September)

It is usually with great interest and pleasure that I read Ken Burns’ monthly column. Without question, he has a unique style in presenting his views on pharmacy. Various writers, including Burns, have provided commentary on pharmacies located within mass merchandisers; especially those in grocery stores.

Burns and others have commented on the “professional environment” or lack thereof in such a location. Hmmm. For years “traditional” pharmacies have had lottery, confectionery, cosmetics and photo development services. Only when a provincial government law was passed did most pharmacies cease tobacco sales. Perhaps ideally, all pharmacies should sell only medications and medication/healthcare-related services. But is that what all Canadian consumers desire? Survey after survey has shown that the customer’s priority is convenience and courteous, professional service.

All pharmacists (long before any specific practice regulations were passed) have always had the duty to inform, counsel and educate customers. It has been my experience that ultimately, it’s the quality of the pharmacist that determines the professionalism of any one pharmacy. There are “good” and “bad” pharmacists everywhere; be it within a chain, independent or mass merchandiser.

Different types of locations and different fees are an option available to all consumers. A certain loyalty exists for all. Before we become overly critical of any one type of pharmacy, perhaps we as pharmacists need to make sure we have our own “professional house” in order. A professional environment goes far beyond brick and mortar (and pestle); it starts with each and every one of us.

Martin Chung, Bsc. Pharm.,
A&P Drug Mart Ltd.
Toronto, Ont.


(Re: Time for some POSitive thinking, October)

I was disappointed in this article and the sidebar, “Who are you going to call.”

Tri-Comp Systems provides pharmacy software and support to nearly 400 independent pharmacies in Western Canada. Over 200 are using the Accu-Scan POS software. Our customer list includes: Pharmasave (B.C. and Central region); Northern Drugs; Central Drugs and Price Watcher stores (Saskatchewan and Manitoba). Unipharm Wholesale Drugs (B.C.) has selected our pharmacy and POS software to implement in the Peoples Drug Mart, Medicine Centre, and independent banner stores.

Tri-Comp Systems Accu-Scan software is one of the only systems in the industry that will actually tie together the front store and dispensary inventories, while allowing the pharmacist to scan prescriptions at the cash register and monitor prescription “walkouts.”

I think, at the very least, the article was poorly researched. Please correct your “Who are you going to call” section on your web site to more accurately reflect the marketplace.

Robert C. Knock
Tri-Comp Systems,
Saskatoon, Sask.

(Tri-comp Systems now appears in the list of POS companies on our website)


(Re: A message from Mom–er, the editor)

Congratulations on an excellent editorial in your October issue.

You displayed an enlightened viewpoint as a mom and then put your finger on something that doesn’t get said often enough.

Despite all the competition among chains, and between chains and independents, it remains consumers who decide where to take their business. Convenience, location, price and service are just some of the variables that consumers seek, subject to their time pressures, activities, moods and needs on any given day. Striving for the highest standards and catering to your consumers’ preferences will make winners out of every pharmacy. Keep up the good work!

Monika Simon, president and C.E.O.
Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores


(Re: A message from Mom–er, the editor)

You do not have any idea what profession or professional fee mean. Period.

J.D. Turbitt,
Turbitt Pharmacy Limited,
Owen Sound, Ont.