Highly trained pharmacists able to prescribe for common ailments with no cost for the visit

(Pharmacist Avish Shah at Stittsville’s Whole Health Pharmacy, located at the Mount Carmel Medical Centre on Stittsville Main Street, will be offering prescriptions to his customers. Photo: Stittsville Central)

Ontario is making it more convenient for people to connect to care closer to home by launching pharmacist prescribing for some of the most common medical ailments. But, not all pharmacists are participating, so it is recommended that you check with your local pharmacy to ensure they are providing prescriptions to their customers.

As of January 1, 2023, Ontarians will be able to stop in at pharmacies who are participating to receive prescriptions for thirteen common ailments, including rashes, pink eye, insect bites and urinary tract infections with just their health card. This service makes it more convenient to access care by removing a doctor’s office visit and will come at no extra cost to Ontarians.

“Stopping by your local pharmacy for quick and easy access to treatment for some of your most common ailments increases your access to the care you need closer to home,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “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.”

Anyone with symptoms should contact their local pharmacist to confirm whether they provide prescribing services for certain common ailments before visiting the pharmacy. Pharmacists will be able to offer prescriptions for:

  • hay fever (allergic rhinitis);
  • oral thrush (candidal stomatitis);
  • pink eye (conjunctivitis; bacterial, allergic and viral);
  • dermatitis (atopic, eczema, allergic and contact);
  • menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea);
  • acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD));
  • hemorrhoids;
  • cold sores (herpes labialis);
  • impetigo;
  • insect bites and hives;
  • tick bites (post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease);
  • sprains and strains (musculoskeletal); and
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Allowing pharmacists to prescribe for these common ailments will make it more convenient for Ontarians to receive the care they need, while offering patients more convenient choices for how they access and receive health care. With a large, provincewide footprint, pharmacist prescribing will help to increase access to care in rural parts of Ontario.

In addition to providing more convenience, pharmacy prescribing will also help free-up doctors’ bandwidth to provide care for more complex needs, helping to reduce wait times for these services.

Ontarians can now also visit local pharmacies for Paxlovid prescriptions. Visit ontario.ca/antivirals for more information on eligibility and to find local pharmacies that are dispensing Paxlovid.


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