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Pharmacists in Ontario will soon prescribe meds for more than 12 common ailments

Pharmacists in Ontario will soon prescribe meds for more than 12 common ailments

Ontario pharmacists will soon be able to prescribe medications for more than a dozen common ailments as of January 1st they’ll be able to fill prescriptions on the spot without a doctor’s appointment for 13 of what the Ministry of Health describes as the most common ailments so the 13 ailments include hay fever oral thrush dermatitis pink eye menstrual.

Cramps acid reflux hemorrhoids cold sores and Pedigo insect bites and hives tick bites sprains and strains and urinary tract infections for more on this let’s bring in the CEO of the Ontario pharmacists Association Justin Bates Justin great to see you hope you had a great Christmas holiday let’s get into this so these 13 common ailments.

How much a relief will this be for the Health Care system well it’s welcome news and it’s more than a decade in the making as we’ve gone through this journey to really tap into the existing expertise and high accessibility of pharmacies and I do think this will make a significant contribution to creating capacity in our.

Health care System helping to ease some of the pressures within Primary Care as well as in the emergency departments if we can deal with these common ailments in the community closer to where people work live and play and give them more convenient options for community-based services through accessing a pharmacy and a pharmacist’s expertise then we’re.

Going to go a long way into dealing with some of the system pressures and Justin how will this work logistically if a person comes in needing to be looked at by a pharmacist do they go into that little room in the back or is it just kind of an over-the-counter hey put your head closer to me man let me take a look how does it work when a pharmacist tries.

To diagnose someone yeah great question and what we would encourage people to do similar to the covid vaccinations uh program we started to implement booking systems and all pharmacies and move to what we call an appointment-based model so it will be very similar care Pathways it would be if you went to a primary care physician.

You should call ahead or go online to the website of your Pharmacy of choice ask if they are providing the service because it’s going to look slightly different January 1st in different pharmacies there will be a phased in approach so we want to make sure that they’re offering it when you need it and then schedule an appointment so it won’t.

Be by the counter and leaning your head in I can assure people it will be confidentiality and privacy will be done in a private area it’s a one-on-one counseling session with the pharmacist so they can fully assess your current condition and make sure that it’s the most appropriate treatment option and they will follow up as well to monitor.

The progress and make sure it’s effective okay and Justin will people need to bring in a health card in order to be seen by a pharmacist absolutely this is going to be free of charge for all ontarians all you need is your provincial health card so similar fashion as you would when you go to your family physician and Public Funding has.

Been allotted to all providers that are involved in this so any pharmacy that’s offering this will have public reimbursement to ensure that we have Equitable access whether that’s rural remote Suburban or Urban which is a great thing for people to access these services with more convenient options it sounds like you know it could be a.

Promising Game Changer Justin I want to turn the attention now to the shortage of you know cold medications whether it be adults or kids what are you hearing from pharmacies in terms of the situation there I I feel just anecdotally going to different pharmacies that some shelves are stocked some are just bare for weeks and weeks.

Now still a concern we are seeing shortages as you’ve mentioned it is different depending on the pharmacy you go to the supply chain is essentially catching up but as you’ve probably noted there is a shortage now in the U.S one shortage usually begets another shortage and that’s what we’re seeing in other.

Jurisdictions now because it continues to be a very high demand for these products because we have the triple threat of fevers and pain that’s coming from rsvs from covet infections and of course flu so once we can hopefully catch up we’ll have a more stable Supply Health Canada is importing more of these medications for over-the-counter in.

Other jurisdictions that’s helping to supplement the domestic Supply but we still need to look at the root cause here because domestic capacity remains very limited there’s not a lot of incentives for manufacturers so when we look at shortages whether it’s amoxicillin and the antibiotic category or with counter medications for cold and.

Flu and pain and fever there is you know systemic issues here that we need to address all right that is Justin Bates CEO of the Ontario pharmacist Association thanks for joining us to make this you know very uh exciting announcement and we’ll speak with you soon Justin have a happy holiday take care happy holidays thank you.

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