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For the privately insured, with either Signal Iduna or Deutschen Ring, there is a customer benefits programme for the purchase of „over the counter“ medications at around 1,200 Linda-Apotheken stores. In the second phase, the partnership will include, as well as medical consultations, „check-up services“ and programmes for the chronically ill. Linda-Apotheken cooperate so far with Axa, Payback and ADAC.

Commentary: In the search for competitive advantage, it seems the Executive Board of Linda-Apotheken to have found partnership cooperations between its pharmacies and health insurers an adequate solution. This search is in light of recent case law and thus the current importance of establishing uniform rules for the industry. Customer loyalty programmes can be an appropriate tool, as they increase revenue whilst controlling costs. Looking critically, price discounts as a customer incentive represent a much more effective control for private insurance as opposed to public insurance. Nevertheless, these considerations should be taken both in the strategic planning of health insurance as well as competitors from pharmacies.

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