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Ontario Government to expand pharmacists prescribing power this fall


The Ontario Government made the announcement on Thursday as part of its 2023 budget, saying the original push allowing pharmacists to prescribe some medications for specific ailments has been “hugely popular.”

Starting in the fall, the expanded prescribing power will include medications that treat moderate acne, canker sores, diaper dermatitis, yeast infections, pinworms and threadworms along with nausea and vomiting related to pregnancy.

First, in Ontario pharmacists were allowed to prescribe Paxlovid, an oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19, in December 2022. The rate of dispensing Paxlovid had increased by more than 130 per cent since pharmacists were permitted to prescribe the medication, government officials said.

Prior to that date December, Ontarians needed a prescription from a doctor, nurse practitioner or clinical assessment centre in order to access the Paxlovid treatment.

Pharmacists were given expanded responsibilities in January 2023 after the current Progressive Conservatives gave them the ability to fill prescriptions for 13 of ‘the most common ailments.’

This included hay fever, oral thrush, dermatitis, pink eye, menstrual cramps, acid reflux, hemorrhoids, cold sores, impetigo, insect bites and hives, tick bites, sprains and strains and UTIs.

At the time, Atef Lotfy, a Sudbury-area pharmacist, told CTV News the changes from the province, which allowed him to treat some minor ailments meant new convenience for his customers.

“The patient is so excited because they know in the community pharmacy, the patient is very close to the pharmacist so its like one of the family so I would go to one of my family better then I spend the time over there,” said Lofty

Lotfy said those changes would also go along way to help a very congested health system.

With files from CTV Sudbury video journalist Ashley Bacon Top Stories

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