By Diane Alavie, Pharmacist

Since January, Ontario pharmacists have been allowed to treat and prescribe for 13 common illnesses. In October, this program was expanded to include six more ailments. Allowing pharmacists to prescribe for minor conditions has made it more convenient for people to access care and for doctors to have more time for patients with more complex needs.

The 19 common ailments include:

  • acne
  • canker sores
  • diaper rash
  • yeast infections
  • parasitic worms (pinworms and threadworms)
  • nausea and vomiting in pregnancy
  • 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)
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs)

This service has been very successful with over 400,000 assessments so far.

Things to note:

  • Care is faster, more expedient, and closer to home.
  • Community clinic and hospital wait times have been reduced.
  • Length of stays for emergency department admissions has decreased.
  • Before visiting, confirm the service is offered at your pharmacy.
  • Ontario Health card covers cost of service.
  • Cost of prescribed medications is responsibility of patients or their drug benefit plan.
  • Some injection and inhalation treatments, such as travel vaccines, or osteoporosis treatment may also be offered.
  • Paxlovid (antiviral treatment) may be offered at some pharmacies.