Ontario expands pharmacist prescription powers, adding 6 more common ailments

Ontario pharmacists can now prescribe medication for six more common ailments. Michelle Mackey has the full list and how this compares to other provinces.

Ontario has announced that they will be expanding the number of conditions for which pharmacists can write prescriptions.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones held a press conference at the pharmacy of Shoppers Drug Mart in The East Mall in Etobicoke on Sunday morning, detailing how the province has added six more common ailments to the list of 13 that pharmacists have already been able to treat. (Full list below)

The Ontario government announced plans to expand pharmacists’ prescribing powers in its budget, released in March, with acne, canker sores and diaper rash listed in the conditions pharmacists can now treat.

“Pharmacist prescribing has been a huge success in our province. In less than one year, Ontario has become one of the leading jurisdictions in all of Canada in providing health care services through pharmacies,” Jones said.

Pharmacists can also prescribe treatment for yeast infections, parasitic worms, and nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

The province first granted prescribing power to pharmacists on Jan. 1, allowing them to treat ailments such as hives and urinary tract infections.

According to the Ministry of Health, 89 per cent of pharmacies in Ontario opted into the program, and have provided over 400,000 assessments since.

Jones said there has been some progress with patients opting to seek help from a pharmacist, as surgical waitlists and the average time spent in an emergency room are both declining.

The Ministry of Health has also sought feedback on a plan to allow pharmacists to prescribe flu medication, administer flu shots to babies and administer RSV vaccines, when available, ahead of an expected fall viral surge.

More controversially, the Progressive Conservative government passed a health reform bill back in May allowing more private clinics to offer certain publicly funded surgeries and procedures.

Starting Oct. 1, people will be able to visit a local pharmacy to receive prescriptions for:

  • acne;
  • canker sores;
  • diaper rash;
  • yeast infections;
  • parasitic worms (pinworms and threadworms); and
  • nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.


This is in addition to the 13 common ailments pharmacists have been able to treat since January 1, 2023:

  • 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); and
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs).


With files from the Canadian Press

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