January 3, 2023
Shoppers Drug Mart Applauds Expanded Scope of Practice for Ontario Pharmacists
Pharmacists across the province can now assess and prescribe for 13 minor ailments
January 3, 2023. Toronto, ON – As of January 1, pharmacists across Ontario can now better support patients by assessing and prescribing treatment for 13 minor conditions, including cold sores, pink eye, allergic rhinitis, hemorrhoids, hives and urinary tract infections, among others. These services are publicly funded and available for patients with a valid Ontario health card, meaning there is no out of pocket charge for patients.
“Canada’s healthcare system is faced with a number of complex challenges, all of which require innovation and collaboration to resolve,” said Jeff Leger, President, Shoppers Drug Mart. “Today’s announcement optimizes the role of Ontario pharmacists by unlocking their potential to be a part of those collective solutions. We applaud the Ontario government for this move and for recognizing that pharmacists are uniquely qualified to help to address some of the gaps that have emerged in primary healthcare systems, providing patients with more options when accessing healthcare services.”
Minor ailments are described as uncomplicated and typically short-term health conditions that can be managed with self-care strategies and minimal treatment or follow-up required.¹ With most Ontarians living close to a community pharmacy,² pharmacists can offer timely services to patients, helping Ontarians avoid wait times – particularly those who experience barriers to accessing other health care services.³ Today’s announcement is projected to reduce one third of avoidable emergency department visits.⁴
Pharmacists are already a trusted and integral part of Ontario’s public health system, working in collaboration with other healthcare practitioners to provide high-quality care to Ontarians. They conduct medication reviews and consultations, administer vaccines and advise patients on health concerns.
“Empowering pharmacists to use their expertise to assess and treat minor ailments helps patients get the care they need sooner and closer to home – but the benefits go much further. It reduces demand on hospitals, emergency departments, walk-in clinics and family physicians. It also frees up time for our healthcare partners, allowing doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to focus on more complex care cases,” says Justin Bates, CEO, Ontario Pharmacists Association. Accessing care for minor ailments is simple and easy – Ontarians can book an appointment online or can visit their local Shoppers Drug Mart or Loblaw pharmacy.
About Shoppers Drug Mart Inc.
Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart® (Pharmaprix® in Québec). With almost 1,350 Shoppers Drug Mart® and Pharmaprix® stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The company also licenses or owns 47 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy® (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé® in Québec). As well, the company owns and operates 43 corporate Wellwise by Shoppers Drug MartTM stores and an ecommerce site Wellwise.ca, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the company owns the Medical Cannabis by ShoppersTM online platform for the sale of medical cannabis, Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, MediSystem Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities and Lifemark Health Group, Canada’s leading provider of outpatient physiotherapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, mental health, and other ancillary rehabilitation services. Shoppers Drug Mart is an independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited.