More Prescription Drugs for Canadians? Ontario Wants to Herald Minor Prescriptions in Local Pharmacies

Ontario pharmacists to issue prescriptions for wider spectrum of drugs

Prescription DrugsHealth Ministry of Ontario has pushed forward a proposal on delegating more ‘prescribing power’ to pharmacists. If the proposal suggested by Health Minister Christine Elliott gets approved, the citizens of the province will have a choice between visiting a doctor or dropping at a pharmacy and having their medication prescribed to them on the spot.

The convenience of this new implementation is that it can increase accessibility of both healthcare consulting and medications. For instance, those who do not have possibility to appear at the doctor’s office during working hours because of their own office hours, can now appear at a pharmacy door during late p.m. and have their minor ailments attended to.

As it is now, a pharmacist in Ontario may prescribe medications for certain minor conditions, that is, common or easily recognizable and treatable health problems. However, in the past, you will have had to see a doctor for one of these conditions and have received a prescription for a drug at that time. It is to this order that your pharmacist will have to refer.

“How to obtain a prescription from your therapist/hospital? – Just arrange an appointment with your regular physician and be frank about health conditions bothering you.”


Currently, your pharmacist may prescribe medication for the following 12 minor conditions:

  • Minor acne
  • Oral sores (ulcers in the mouth)
  • Allergic conjunctivitis
  • Menstrual pain
  • Eczema (weak to moderate)
  • Nappy rash
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Genital herpes
  • Recent urinary infection in women
  • Thrush caused by the use of a corticosteroid inhaler
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Yeast vaginitis

For the majority of conditions, if the medical prescription goes back more than 4 years, your pharmacist will invite you to consult a doctor again. For menstrual pain and hemorrhoids, the duration was set at 2 years and for urinary infection at 1 year.

Can my pharmacist refuse to prescribe medication?

Absolutely. Your pharmacist will need to assess the situation each time based on several factors, including your signs and symptoms, and whether or not to prescribe the drug. In addition, if there is nothing in your chart that indicates that you have ever been treated for any of these conditions, your pharmacist will not be able to prescribe medication. In some cases, he will refer you to a doctor.

Does every pharmacy require prescription?

What to do then if your pharmacist refuses or for some reason cannot prescribe or prolong a prescription for you, and a visit to a doctor’s office is not possible for some reason? It is possible to buy your medications at online pharmacies in Canada where prescriptions for most medications are not required. The beauty of it is also in the fact that one does not have to go looking for a specific drug or try to make it to an actual drugstore during its opening hours, for some people work irregular shifts and simply cannot visit either their pharmacist or doctor. In case of an emergency an e-pharmacy is a real lifeline. Add to the list of virtual pharmacies the prices that are consistently lower, and you get a perfect storm of conditions making e-shopping a beneficial, convenient and overall a worthwhile experience.

More about prescription drugs in Ontario: