Scope of Practice

Six New Minor Ailments Now Authorized for Assessment and Prescribing

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As of October 1, 2023, pharmacists in Ontario are authorized to assess and prescribe medications for six additional minor ailments, adding to the list of 13 that came into effect at the beginning of the year. These new minor ailments, which were approved by government as part of regulation changes to O.Reg. 202/94 (General) of the Pharmacy Act, 1991, include:

  • Acne (mild)
  • Aphthous Ulcers (canker sores)
  • Diaper dermatitis
  • Vulvovaginal candidiasis (yeast infection)
  • Pinworms and threadworms
  • Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy

These minor ailments were previously recommended by the College’s Minor Ailments Advisory Group (MAAG) in June 2020.

Clinical tools and algorithms

To support assessing, informed decision-making and prescribing for minor ailments, pharmacists are encouraged to refer to clinical tools and algorithms from relevant sources that enable them to provide safe and effective patient care.

The College has created a Minor Ailments web page with FAQs, infographics, guidelines, links to clinical algorithms and continuing education courses and more to help pharmacists assess and prescribe medications safely and with confidence.

Mandatory Orientation for Minor Ailments Prescribing module

It is the expectation of the College that pharmacists understand their ethical, legal and professional obligations before prescribing for minor ailments. All Part A pharmacists must complete the Mandatory Orientation for Minor Ailments Prescribing module before engaging in prescribing for minor ailments and no later than December 31, 2023. There is no cost to pharmacists for completing this module.

Completion is required regardless of a pharmacist’s practice setting or whether they choose to prescribe for minor ailments since the regulation change applies to the profession as a whole rather than a specific area of practice.

The module has been revised to reflect the six new minor ailments. If you already completed the module prior to this revision, you do not need to complete it again.

All Part A pharmacists will still need to attest that they have completed the required orientation during the 2024 annual renewal process or via the OCP Registrant Portal.

Looking to share information with your patients about what minor ailments pharmacists can prescribe for? Share this video on your pharmacy’s social media.

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