Home Health Pharmacists in Ontario can now treat acne, yeast infections, and canker sores

Pharmacists in Ontario can now treat acne, yeast infections, and canker sores

Pharmacies can prescribe medication to treat six more conditions.

by Holly Newell
Man standing at a pharmacy
People can now visit pharmacies as they are authorized to prescribe medication for an additional six prevalent health conditions (Holly Newell/OTR).

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The Ontario government announced that they are expanding the number of conditions for which pharmacists can write prescriptions.

At a press conference on Oct. 1, Sylvia Jones, minister of health and long-term care, announced the plan to broaden the range of medical conditions for which pharmacists can prescribe treatment.

Pharmacists can now prescribe treatment for acne, yeast infections, canker sores, diaper rash, parasitic worms and nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. 

“It benefits patients because they spend less time waiting for their prescriptions and they don’t need to make an appointment or go to a walk-in clinic to see a doctor,” said Emily Dal Bello, a registered nurse.

The expansion permits patients to promptly address self-limiting health concerns, offering a measure of relief to the already busy healthcare system, explained Robert Morkos, owner of Homewood Pharmacy in Toronto.

“It also benefits the general public because without an appointment with a doctor, there’s no charge from the ministry, saving taxpayers dollars,” said Dal Bello.

“The expansion will help doctors because it frees up their schedules by one or two appointments, giving other patients open slots to book.”

Eighty-nine per cent of the pharmacies in Ontario have been treating health issues since gaining prescription privileges at the start of the year, providing over 400,000 assessments, according to the Ontario Ministry of Health.

People are able to visit a local pharmacy and receive prescriptions for;

  • acne
  • canker sores
  • diaper rash
  • yeast infections
  • parasitic worms
  • nausea and vomiting in pregnancy
  • allergic rhinitis
  • oral thrush 
  • pink eye 
  • dermatitis 
  • menstrual cramps 
  • acid reflux 
  • hemorrhoids
  • cold sores 
  • impetigo
  • insect bites and hives
  • tick bites 
  • sprains and strains 
  • urinary tract infections

“We decided to participate in this because it is a good step for pharmacies to take on these responsibilities,” said Morkos.

“This announcement aligns with our commitment to improving access to care for patients and we are proud to work with the Ontario government and the Ontario College of Pharmacists to make these positive changes,” said Jeff Leger, president of Shoppers Drug Mart, in a statement released by the ministry of health. “Expanding the role of Ontario’s pharmacists is another significant step towards connecting Ontarians to the care they need.”

Reporter, On The Record, fall 2023.

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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