Ontario Pharmacists Can Now Prescribe for 13 Common Ailments

Pharmacists of Ontario will now be able to prescribe medication for 13 common ailments making it easier for residents to get the care they need. The announcement comes from the official Ontario website which adds that this change will come into effect from January 1 next year.

Residents in Ontario will be able to get easier access to medications for common ailments such as rashes, pink eye, insect bites, and more from their local pharmacy. According to the official announcement, pharmacies will have the ability to prescribe medications to treat 13 common illnesses from January 1 next year. This will make it easier for residents to get treated.

“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. Expanding the ability of pharmacists to provide care is one more way we’re putting people at the center of our health care system, making it easier, faster, and more convenient to access health care in their community,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

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A common ailment is a health condition that can be self-diagnosed and managed with self-care strategies or with treatment. The list of ailments for which medicines can be prescribed by pharmacies includes:

  1. hay fever (allergic rhinitis)

  2. oral thrush (candidal stomatitis)

  3. pink eye (conjunctivitis; bacterial, allergic and viral)

  4. dermatitis (atopic, eczema, allergic and contact)

  5. menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)

  6. acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD));

  7. hemorrhoids

  8. cold sores (herpes labialis)

  9. impetigo

  10. insect bites and hives

  11. tick bites (post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease)

  12. sprains and strains (musculoskeletal)

  13. urinary tract infections (UTIs)

As per the announcement, anyone with symptoms can contact their local pharmacist who can use their current knowledge, skills, and judgment to recommend over-the-counter medications. Not only will this allow residents to get easier and quicker care, but it will also reduce the burden on hospitals, doctors, and medical staff. Justin Bates, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, said, “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.”

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