Philip Morris’ scheme to pay pharmacists for ordering VEEV vapes has led to a huge backlash and the scheme being paused, reports The Guardian.
Health experts in Australia have called Philip Morris’ scheme, which involved paying pharmacists AUD 275 (USD 192) for placing an initial order stock of its VEEV vapes, “nothing short of appalling.” The scheme, which has now been paused, would have meant pharmacists would have received AUD 5 (USD 3.48) every time they dispense a VEEV script, AUD 10 (USD 6.96) for educating new patients about the device and AUD 5 (USD 3.48) for referring patients to a doctor to get a prescription for VEEV, reports The Guardian.
PharmaPrograms, the platform responsible for the handling the scheme, has put the scheme on hold among a growing concern behind the ethics of a tobacco company incentivising the sale of its products via pharmacists.
“Following recent advice, PharmaPrograms has taken the decision to postpone the launch whilst a review of all components of the program are being completed,” PharmaPrograms told members in an email.
“The intent of the proposed program was to support appropriate use for the approved patients, who have been prescribed nicotine vaping products by an authorised prescriber. As well as provide pharmacists with information about the unique regulatory requirements for prescribing and supplying vaping products.”
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has condemned the scheme with a spokesperson saying: “Big tobacco’s attempt at financial kickbacks shows absolute contempt for pharmacists. Contempt for their integrity. Contempt for pharmacist’s professional and ethical obligation to put the health and wellbeing of their patients first. Multinational tobacco companies have no place in health care.”