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Types of Health Care Services You Can Get Through Your Local Pharmacy

Article from Government of Ontario, January 2023

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Pharmacies fill drug prescriptions and offer medication counselling to all members of the community. Pharmacists are also able to prescribe certain treatment options for some of the most common, medical ailments. Accessing this service will come at no extra cost to Ontarians, all you need is your health card.

In addition to filling drug prescriptions, many pharmacies offer one-on-one counselling to help you quit smoking or manage diabetes. Many also administer vaccines including the flu shot, from specially trained pharmacists to people two years of age and older.

As of January 1, 2023, Ontarians will be able to stop in at pharmacies across the province to receive prescriptions for 13 common ailments, such as rashes, pink eye, insect bites or urinary tract infections with just their health card. This service makes it more convenient to access care by removing a doctor’s office visit and will come at no extra cost to Ontarians.


May vary by location:

  • prescription dispensing services

  • *NEW* prescriptions to treat certain common ailments

  • Smoking Cessation Programs

  • diabetes management support and education

  • MedsCheck Program

  • flu shots (if you’re older than two years old)

  • special packaging options for medications

  • home health care supplies

  • mobility aids and safety equipment

  • delivery of prescriptions

Pharmacy Specific Programs Prescriptions for common ailments

Beginning January 1, 2023, pharmacists can prescribe certain medication to treat the following common ailments:

  • hay fever (allergic rhinitis)

  • oral thrush (candidal stomatitis)

  • pink eye (conjunctivitis; bacterial, allergic and viral)

  • dermatitis (atopic, eczema, allergic and contact)

  • 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 (UTIs)

Ontarians seeking care should visit their local pharmacist and bring their health card.

This service is being provided by the government for all Ontarians to offer people more convenient choices for how they access and receive health care. With a large, province-wide footprint, pharmacist prescribing will also help to increase access to care in rural parts of Ontario.

As prescribing is optional, anyone with symptoms should contact their local pharmacist to confirm whether they prescribe for certain common ailments before visiting.

MedsCheck Program

If you are taking multiple medications, the MedsCheck Program, available at most pharmacies, helps ensure that you are getting the most benefit from your medications and that you are taking them as prescribed.

Anyone taking a minimum of three medications and who has an Ontario health card is eligible for the MedsCheck Program.

Smoking Cessation Program

If you want to quit smoking, you might be eligible to receive one-on-one support and counselling from a pharmacist as part of the Smoking Cessation Program.

Anyone who is eligible for the Ontario Drug Benefit plan can enroll in the Smoking Cessation program. It involves completing a readiness assessment and consultation, as well as a year of counselling sessions. The Smoking Cessation Program is part of the Smoke Free Ontario Strategy.

When to visit a pharmacy

  • you need to have a prescription filled

  • you need treatment for a common ailment

  • you need help quitting smoking

  • you are looking for advice about managing diabetes

  • you are taking multiple medications and want counselling

  • you need vaccines including the flu shot

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