Ontario pharmacies gearing up for bigger role on Sunday

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Ontario pharmacies gearing up for bigger role on Sunday

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">The co-owner of the Brisson pharmacy in Ottawa, Sara Azad (archives).

On January 1, pharmacists will be able to prescribe treatments for some of the most common medical conditions.

It is still a defining moment for our profession. The Ontario Pharmacists Association has worked very hard. We've been talking about it for years, it's really good to see it finally implemented. We are in preparation, but we are eager to be able to provide this service to people, says Sara Azad, pharmacist and co-owner of the Brisson pharmacy in the ByWard Market, in Ottawa, in an interview on the show Les Mornings from here.

Starting Sunday, Ontarians will be able to visit select pharmacies across the province to receive prescriptions for 13 common conditions such as rash, conjunctivitis, insect bites or urinary tract infections, simply by bringing their health card.

Ailments concerned from 1st January 2023 :

  • hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  • oral thrush (Candida stomatitis)
  • Weeks' bacillus conjunctivitis (conjunctivitis; bacterial, allergic and viral)
  • dermatitis (atopic rashes, eczema, allergic and contact rashes)
  • 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)
  • urinary tract infections

This service should provide more convenient access to care by eliminating a consultation at the doctor's office and will be at no additional cost for residents of Ontario, the province specifies.

There are many, if not most, of these 13 conditions that pharmacists already treat. We do consultations, we talk about non-pharmacological measures with people, over-the-counter drugs… There, we will have more tools to be able to better treat these conditions. Instead of recommending the person go to their doctor for something that can still be easily treated, we're going to do it right away. There is a chance to offer this treatment in a more reasonable time, judge Ms. Azad.

The measure was announced at the end of November by the province.

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As emergency departments are overwhelmed across the province, this should free up hospitals, but also the schedule of doctors, who will be able to concentrate on providing care to patients with more complex needs, thus helping to reduce wait times for these services, specifies the province.

It also frees up time for our healthcare partners, allowing doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to focus on more complex cases, said Justin Bates, president and CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, via press release.

“It allows us to take some of the burden off emergency rooms when these are cases that can be easily treated with drugs prescribed by the pharmacist. »

— Sara Azad, pharmacist and co-owner of Brisson Pharmacy

It will also help identify cases that need to see the doctor, more urgent cases that need go to the emergency room, adds Ms. Azad.

Even if the measure comes into force on Sunday, it will take time for pharmacies to adapt, she warns.

Not all pharmacies will necessarily participate in the program. So people should find out if their pharmacy offers this service. Then, it will depend on each workplace to see how they will integrate this service. […] It could be a model by appointment or it could be pharmacies where people show up without an appointment. It's to do. […] There will still be a transition period to see what works well for each pharmacy.

According to information from the province, more than 800 locations will offer this service across Ontario.

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