Ontario pharmacists permitted to prescribe medications for 6 additional common medical ailments at no cost

The Ontario government is making it more convenient for people to connect to care closer to home by allowing pharmacists to treat and prescribe medications for an additional six common medical ailments. This is in addition to the 13 common ailments that pharmacists have already been prescribing for since January 1, 2023.

“Expanding the list of common ailments pharmacists can treat, people will now get faster, more convenient access to the care they need closer to home, while helping to further reduce wait times at our community clinics and hospitals,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Pharmacist prescribing has been a huge success and Ontario is now one of the leading jurisdictions in Canada in providing convenient health care services through pharmacies.”

Starting today, people will be able to visit a local pharmacy to receive prescriptions for:

  • acne;
  • canker sores;
  • diaper rash;
  • yeast infections;
  • parasitic worms (pinworms and threadworms); and
  • nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

This is in addition to the 13 common ailments pharmacists have been able to treat since January 1, 2023:

  • 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).

Since the start of this year, 89 per cent of Ontario’s pharmacies have been treating common ailments, providing over 400,000 assessments. Stopping by a local pharmacy saves people a trip to the doctor’s office and gives family doctors more time to help people who need more specialized care.

As with visiting a family physician or walk-in clinic, Ontarians can receive a prescription from a pharmacist for common ailments with just their Ontario health card. The cost of the medication being prescribed will continue to be paid for by people directly or through their drug benefits plan.

Recent changes by the province also allow pharmacists to administer certain injection and inhalation treatments so that they can better care for people who need help taking certain medications, such as insulin, vitamin B12, or osteoporosis treatment. Ontarians can now access this service at their local pharmacy for a professional fee, similar to fees to receive travel vaccines.


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