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Asda offers customers money incentive to talk to it about Pharmacy First

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Asda offers customers money incentive to talk to it about Pharmacy First

This story was originally published by Independent Community Pharmacist.

Asda is coming under scrutiny over its offer to put £1 in their customers’ rewards app cash pots if they talk to their pharmacy teams about Pharmacy First as concerns grow the supermarket chain could be commercialising the service.

The promotion offers customers who have the Asda rewards app the money if they ask their teams for information about the service which launches in seven days’ time. Asda’s offer has been running since January 15 and expires on January 29.

The English Pharmacy Board (EPB) member Paul Summerfield used his X account to ask the General Pharmaceutical Council, NHS England, Royal Pharmaceutical Society and NHS Business Services Authority for their thoughts on “incentives being offered for ‘speaking’ to the pharmacy team about Pharmacy First.”

Another EPB member Thorrun Govind used her account to say it was “not a great look Asda” above a screenshot of the supermarket’s offer. Other pharmacists expressed their concern. Garry McDonald said there were “fears that Pharmacy First consultations will be a key performance indicator driver by non-pharmacist managers.”

Asda told Independent Community Pharmacist it was “not breaching any NHS regulations” and insisted that because Pharmacy First has not gone live yet, it “can’t be incentivising a service that doesn’t exist.”

A spokesperson for the chain said: “From the end of January, Asda’s qualified pharmacy colleagues will be able to provide treatment and advice on a number of conditions that will help to alleviate pressure on GP services and provide a boost to the pharmacy sector.

“We are excited to be able to bring these services to our local communities and we are currently offering £1 back in your Cashpot when you speak to one of our pharmacists about the new service until the 29th January.”

The NHSBSA said it could not comment because it does not “manage the policy of the Pharmacy First scheme.” ICP has contacted NHSE for a response.

In November 2022, Asda offered customers who booked a private flu vaccination online by December 9 that year £2 in their rewards app “cashpot.”

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