Ontario pharmacists can now treat many minor illnesses

You may have heard that pharmacists can now write prescriptions for common conditions like allergies, pink eye and heartburn. This sounds quick and convenient, but what does it mean? Can you just show up at the pharmacy counter with a problem? Here are the answers to these and some other top questions:

What is a minor illness?
A minor illness is a health condition that can be managed with minimal treatment or self-care strategies. It’s usually a short-term problem that doesn’t raise any red flags for a more serious condition or require a blood test or lab work to diagnose.

Which minor illnesses can I see a pharmacist for?
Your local pharmacist can now assess and treat 13 common ailments: allergies, oral thrush, pink eye, eczema and skin rashes, painful periods, heartburn, hemorrhoids, cold sores, bug bites and hives, tick bites, sprains and strains, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and impetigo.

Do I need to book an appointment?
No, you can simply walk in and speak with a highly trained pharmacist without having to call ahead.

Is there a fee?
Assessing and prescribing medication for minor illnesses is covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, so all you need to do is show your valid OHIP card. You may still pay the normal dispensing fee if they fill a prescription.

What happens during the pharmacist visit?
Your pharmacist will ask questions to assess your condition and decide on the best course of action. This could be a prescription or a recommendation for an over-the-counter medication. If the pharmacist feels your illness is serious or requires a follow up, they will refer you to a doctor.

Learn more about this new service at rexall.ca/prescribing.

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