Getting screwed…

Safeway, Airmiles, Ministry of Health, I hate you all!

Okay, so you might think hate is a pretty strong word, and maybe I don’t hate them, but I am very, very, very angry with all of them. There are very few perks to having diabetes. Sure I was able to get out of class by feigning low blood sugars and if I didn’t want to run around the track (which was pretty much always) I could get out of that too, but once I was out of school, what few perks there were fast faded. I mean, it is a disease after all, it’s not supposed to be fun, right.

But there was one perk, a somewhat ultimate perk, to having this disease that made it a little more tolerable: Airmiles! On average I go to the pharmacy once every nine days and dole out anywhere from $75 to $350 with one swipe of my AmEx. A lot of money, yes, but also a lot of Airmiles. With Safeway’s seven times Airmiles on all pharmacy purchases, plus the bonus Airmiles I get by using my Airmiles-loving American Express, Mario and I have been living in the lap of Airmiles luxury. When we flew to Europe last fall, one of our flights was covered by Airmiles, and already we’re well on our way to having another European flight in our back pocket. Swell, right.

But things are about to change.

This morning when I picked up my latest pharmaceutical necessities I discovered, via a sign posted at the cashier, that “due to Ministry of Health requirements, Safeway will no longer be able to honour loyalty programs for any medicines covered by Pharmacare,” which means a significantly reduced amount of Airmiles going into my account! What???

The way Pharmacare in BC works is that a person has to spend so much money on their medicines, based on their income, before Pharmacare will kick in and offset the costs. Usually my costs start coming down around July or August. And it was great because even though I was no longer paying the full price for my prescriptions, I was still getting the full amount of Airmiles – a nice little perk indeed. But nooooooo, once again we disease-laden people are getting screwed. Because it’s not bad enough we already have a bloody disease! Thanks jerkfaces!

On a much happier note, it was my Grams 80th birthday yesterday! Happy birthday Grams!

On the Quay with Ginger.

And it’s my big, big brother’s 40th birthday today! Happy Birthday Big, Big Brother – you’re getting old 😉

Dear Big, Big Brother, I’m sorry that bi-polar goalie of ours did not get the memo that the best present EVER would have been to win the cup … I agree, he’s a jerk!

10 thoughts on “Getting screwed…”

  1. love that photo!!! Glad you have it!

    as for the hockey, it was a shame we didn’t win, the best team won….and for all of those that decided to deface Vancouver last night shame on you, you have embarrassed our city, our province and our country

  2. They are still allowed to give you airmiles for medications you pay for. If pharmacare pays for it, then you will not be able to get airmiles. Which makes sense but sucks. I currently take a medication that costs $4000 every 6 weeks to be able to walk and function and will no longer collect airmiles on this medication.

  3. @ jim not sure if it makes sense because now it will just be taken underground. I too have very hefty costs ($2000 monthly) and have been offerred Cash by other smaller pharmacies. So I would rather it be on the up and up than then the other alternative. What does it matter if safeway gives air miles or not – I mean the price is dictated by the Pharma company anyways and Pharmacare is paying for it so, if I get the points, what does it matter? Or maybe there is something I am missing…

  4. Hi,
    I am in the same predicament. I have Cystic Fibrosis and there are a lot of drugs I have to get just to keep living an somewhat “normal” life. I feel unhappy about this too. On the other hand I feel lucky to have been able to cash in on this deal for so long. I take about 7 different medications One of my drugs alone is $1,300.00 every other month. My lungs are quite bad now and I don’t think I can fly anymore. Having the airmiles reward comes in handy at Christmas when I can buy gifts for people.

  5. Hey People!
    I’ve got RA (1600+ a month $$) and no more airmiles!! I am so upset cause like you said there was ONE good thing about suffering, the airmiles but not anymore. I don’t see why the government cares. Write to your MLA, anyone and everyone!! Grrr. I can’t believe how mad I am. And not it doesn’t male sense!

  6. To complain to BC College of Pharmacists email them at We only have until Dec 28th 2012 to get our word in. Safeway Canada facebook group has a post all about it. I was googling it and came across your blog….I too spend a lot of money on meds, and it is one of only perks of spending so much money on medications…this really is none of the Colleges business….the points are awarded on the privately paid portion, not the government paid part. So sick of the pencil pushers sticking their noses in where it doesn’t belong!! Great blog btw! 🙂

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  8. Don’t shoot the messenger but airmiles is considered a taxable benefit and as of yet I have not seen the gov’t enforce it. Now with this change and all the uproar and petitions they just might should it go back to what it was originally. Be careful what you ask for….I’m just saying.

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