New proposed regulations in Ontario will allow pharmacists to prescribe medication for 12 minor ailments. These proposed regulations have a public consultation window of 10 days before proceeding to cabinet for final approval.
Nardine Nakhla is a pharmacist and professor at the University of Waterloo and served as a member of an advisory group that provided input on the regulations. Nakhla explains what this change means for Ontarians.
What conditions will pharmacists be able to prescribe for?
A minor ailment is a health condition that patients can reliably self-diagnose and that can be managed with self-care strategies or minimal treatment, which can include prescription medication. The proposed regulation change will allow pharmacists to prescribe for the following conditions:
- Urinary tract infections
- Dermatitis, such as atopic, eczema, allergic and contact
- Insect bites and hives, including tick bites
- Allergic rhinitis
- Candida stomatitis, or oral thrush
- Herpes labialis, also known as cold sores
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD
- Dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps
- Musculoskeletal sprains and strains
When will these changes come into effect?
The proposal is still under consideration, and we don’t yet know exactly when pharmacists will be able to provide these services. If the final approval happens quickly, the changes may come into effect as early as July 1, 2022. If approval takes longer, the implementation date may be pushed to January 1, 2023.
Aren’t pharmacists already providing advice?