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As of January 1, 2023, Ontario pharmacists will be authorized to prescribe medications for 13 minor ailments that include:

As of January 1, 2023, Ontario pharmacists will be authorized to prescribe medications for 13 minor ailments that include:

Allergic rhinitis
Candidal stomatitis (oral thrush)
Conjunctivitis (bacterial, allergic and viral)
Dermatitis (atopic, eczema, allergic and contact)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
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 (uncomplicated)

Minor ailments are described as health conditions that can be managed with minimal treatment and/or self-care strategies. Additional criteria include:

Usually a short-term condition
Lab results aren’t usually required
Low risk of treatment masking underlying conditions
No medication or medical history red flags that could suggest a more serious condition
Only minimal or short-term follow-up is required

Patients are encouraged to speak to their pharmacist to find out what healthcare services they offer and whether they are right for their needs. Having the legislated authority to prescribe for minor ailments does not mean all pharmacists must offer or provide this service.
Minor Ailments Resources for Pharmacists

It is the expectation of the College that pharmacists understand their ethical, legal and professional obligations and that they possess the required knowledge, clinical skills, and judgment to safely prescribe medications for minor ailments.

The following resources are available to help pharmacists prescribe for minor ailments safely and with confidence.
Mandatory Orientation for Minor Ailments Prescribing module

To support understanding of this scope of practice change, all Part A pharmacists must complete the Mandatory Orientation for Minor Ailments Prescribing module before engaging in prescribing for minor ailments and no later than December 31, 2023. There is no cost to pharmacists for completing this module.

Completion is required regardless of a pharmacist’s practice setting or whether they choose to prescribe for minor ailments since the regulation change applies to the profession as a whole rather than a specific to area of practice.

All Part A pharmacists will need to attest that they have completed the required orientation during the 2023 and 2024 annual renewal process or via the OCP Registrant Portal.
Continuing Education

In addition to having a thorough understanding of the legislative requirements of prescribing for minor ailments, pharmacists may also support their practice with clinical-based continuing education. As a reminder, it is a requirement of the College’s Quality Assurance Program that pharmacists participate in continuing professional development and maintain a learning portfolio.

With respect to minor ailments prescribing, this means the College expects pharmacists will have identified any learning opportunities and completed clinical education programs to enable them to safely and confidently prescribe for minor ailments before engaging in this expanded scope activity. A list of online continuous education courses related to minor ailments, which is not exhaustive, is available on the College’s website.

Canadian Press    12/29/2022


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