Along with their colleagues in Alberta and British Columbia pharmacists in Ontario will be able to assess patients and prescribe for 13 common ailments as of January 1, 2023. The service is free to anyone with an Ontario Health card.
The conditions include:
• Allergic rhinitis.
• Candidal stomatitis (oral thrush).
• Conjunctivitis (bacterial, allergic and viral).
• Dermatitis (atopic, eczema, allergic and contact).
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
• Herpes labialis (cold sores).
• Insect bites and urticaria (hives).
• Tick bites, post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease.
• Musculoskeletal sprains and strains.
• Urinary tract infections.
This is in addition to Paxlovid that they have been able to prescribe since late last year. Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw pharmacies were ready for the January 1st start date and are already offering the service while the Rexall pharmacy group says they will also participate. Independent pharmacies will come on board if their capacity to deliver the service allows. Most will work on an appointment based model.
The government hopes that this will relieve some of the pressure on the health care system and make it more convenient for patients as they won’t need to visit their doctor freeing up doctors time for more complicated medical needs.