Sarnia pharmacist welcomes added responsibility 

A row of pill bottles at a pharmacy. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / gemphotography.

A local pharmacist is welcoming a new provincial policy that allows them to prescribe medications for 13 different ailments.

As of January 1, they can now assess and treat things like hay fever, oral thrush, dermatitis, menstrual cramps, acid reflux, hemorrhoids, cold sores, impetigo, insect bites and hives, tick bites, sprains and strains, and urinary tract infections.

People with those conditions previously had to go to the walk-in clinic, primary care provider, or hospital to be treated.

Darryl Moore with Hogan Pharmacy said the change will take the strain off of the hospital system, and leave room for those in need of treatment for serious concerns.

“I think that was the biggest catalyst for this was how to reduce some of the time that was being utilized at the hospitals for things that could be passed on to other health care providers,” said Moore. “This is a step in the right direction as far as taking some of the onus off of emergency rooms for the other important patients that are there for more critical conditions.”

Moore said there’s no doubt that pharmacists are well qualified to handle the added responsibility.

“We certainly have a background in pharmacology, as everyone knows, but we also do a lot of therapeutics throughout our university careers and during our continuing education as well,” he said. “So, I think all of the pharmacists will be comfortable in prescribing medication to deal with these 13 ailments that we see quite a bit during the course of a year.”

Moore said as of Tuesday, they had already treated a handful of residents for some of those conditions.

The changes were made in partnership with the Ontario College of Pharmacists.

Those with symptoms should call their local pharmacy to confirm they will provide prescription services for certain ailments first.

Ontarians can now also visit local pharmacies for Paxlovid prescriptions.