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According to Statistics Canada, in 2019 roughly 1.3 million Ontarians reported that they did not have access to a family physician. Hospital emergency rooms are extremely busy, but a significant portion of avoidable ER visits can now be managed by pharmacists through the new expanded scope of practice for pharmacists, which gives them the ability to prescribe medications for 13 minor ailments.

When Joseph Abdelnour (PharmD ’24, in progress) accepted his recent co-op work term at Avalon Compound Pharmacy (ACP) in Ottawa, he never anticipated the new challenges he would face. With no children’s cold medications available and the inability to order from distributors, pharmacists were advising patients to visit nearby emergency rooms or compounding pharmacies.