Today marks the first day where Ontario pharmacists are allowed to prescribe treatment for several common ailments. With more and more Ontario residents unable to secure a family doctor, the province made the move to ease pressure on emergency units and walk-in clinics.
Ontarians will be able to go to pharmacies across the province to receive prescriptions for thirteen common ailments, including rashes, pink eye, insect bites and urinary tract infections with just their health card.
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.”
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));
cold sores (herpes labialis);
insect bites and hives;
tick bites (post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease);
sprains and strains (musculoskeletal); and
urinary tract infections (UTIs).
A common ailment is a health condition that can be reliably self-diagnosed and managed with self-care strategies and/or minimal treatment.
Anyone with symptoms should contact their local pharmacist to confirm whether they provide prescribing services for certain common ailments before visiting the pharmacy.
This change builds on pharmacists’ current knowledge, skills and judgement to recommend over-the-counter medications and allows physicians to focus on the more complex health care needs of their patients.
Ontarians can now also visit local pharmacies for Paxlovid prescriptions for COVID. Visit ontario.ca/antivirals for more information on eligibility and to find local pharmacies that are dispensing Paxlovid.