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Ontario pharmacists will soon be able to prescribe medications for 13 common ailments


Ontario pharmacists will soon be able to prescribe medications for a number of common ailments without the approval of a physician.

As of Jan. 1, pharmacists across the province will be able to fill prescriptions on the spot, without a doctor’s appointment, for 13 of “the most common ailments.”

The 13 ailments include hay fever, oral thrush, dermatitis, pink eye, menstrual cramps, acid reflux, hemorrhoids, cold sores, impetigo, insect bites and hives, tick bites, sprains and strains, and UTIs, according to the Ministry of Health. The service will be free for Ontario health card holders.

Minister of Health Sylvia Jones made the announcement Wednesday, saying the move will make it easier for Ontarians to receive "the care they need."

“You won’t need a doctor’s appointment, [...] there’s no charge for the visit and you can easily get prescriptions filled on the spot," Jones said.

“Expanding the ability of pharmacists to provide care is one more way we’re putting people at the centre of our health care system, making it easier, faster and more convenient to access health care in their community.”

The ministry says, in addition to providing more convenience, pharmacy prescribing will also help “free-up doctors’’ bandwidth to provide care for more complex needs.

"Empowering pharmacists to use their expertise to assess and treat minor ailments helps patients get the care they need sooner and closer to home – but the benefits go much further,” Justin Bates, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, said in a statement.

 “It reduces demand on hospitals, emergency departments, walk-in clinics and family physicians. It also frees up time for our healthcare partners, allowing doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to focus on more complex care cases."

As of Dec. 12, Ontario pharmacists have been permitted to prescribe Paxlovid, an antiviral COVID-19 treatment, without a prescription issued by a physician. Top Stories

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