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Pharmacists able to prescribe for common ailments

As of January 1, 2023, Ontarians can visit pharmacies across the province to receive prescriptions for some of the most common ailments, including rashes, pink eye, insect bites and urinary tract infections with just their health card. 

This new service comes in addition to pharmacists being able to renew prescriptions for most medications, such as blood pressure, diabetes and asthma medication.

“Stopping by your local pharmacy for quick and easy access to treatment for some of your most common ailments increases your access to the care you need closer to home,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. Most Ontario residents live within five kilometers of a pharmacy, which makes them one of the most accessible and convenient health-care touchpoints.

Pharmacists will be able to offer prescriptions for 13 common ailments:

  • 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).

Allowing pharmacists to prescribe for these common ailments and renew prescriptions makes it easier for Ontarians to receive the care they need. Pharmacists in most other provinces can prescribe for certain minor ailments.

Individuals should speak to their pharmacist about whether they are able to renew other medications. Depending on their policy, pharmacies may charge a fee for this service.

You are also encouraged to speak to your pharmacist to find out what healthcare services they offer and whether they are right for your needs. Having the legislated authority to prescribe for minor ailments does not mean that all pharmacists offer or provide this service.

It is important that you consult your health-care provider if you have concerns about your health.  
For group benefits plan members, if you have any questions about your benefits coverage, or to review your benefits booklet to find out what resources and services are available to you through your group benefits plan, view your benefits booklet on the OTIP plan member site. 

For RTIP members, please log in to the RTIP plan member secure site to access your RTIP contract for full coverage details.

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