Saturday, February 4, 2023

Ontario pharmacists may prescribe some medications

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Canada is now developing new norms to improve people’s lives. This primarily affects the medical field. In recent years, patients have been actively using the services of the Internet, for example, Canada Drugs, to purchase the necessary medication online. It is convenient and easy. You don’t have to stand in line or waste your time. It’s enough to open a convenient device and make a virtual order. But now, Ontarians are likely to visit physical stores more often.

What changes have taken place

Pharmacists in Ontario were able to prescribe drugs to people without a doctor’s permission. This is another step toward making it easier and faster for locals to access medications. Officials are doing everything to make life easier and simpler for the residents of the country. The system is so advanced that many people from all over the world want to migrate to this very country. The standard of living here is better, and prices are even more reasonable than in the United States. Such measures have been implemented to reduce the risks of people being admitted to hospitals for unnecessary circumstances. 

This phenomenon has often occurred in past years. It worsened the condition of people in many cases. Moreover, it reduces the workload of doctors, who are now working as hard as possible to save lives. They should, more often than not, concentrate on the work that helps patients. Tasks that can be done by others should be passed on. While neighboring provinces have had this sales option before, it was Ontario that took a long time to develop and implement the initiatives. 

What drugs can pharmacists prescribe? 

Each region has its own annotations. The list of drugs is different everywhere. In some, for example, they can issue a prescription for all drugs, except for narcotic and potent ones. But in Ontario, they adhere to the principle of “measure seven times – cut once”. Pharmacists in this region will be able to assess the health of the visitor and prescribe medicines only for the treatment of minor diseases, including:

• allergic rhinitis;

• candidiasis stomatitis (thrush);

• conjunctivitis (bacterial, allergic, and viral);

• dermatitis (atopic, eczema, allergic, and contact);

• dysmenorrhea;

• gastroesophageal reflux disease;

• hemorrhoids, and so on.

All of the above refers to short-term illnesses that do not require laboratory results and are low-risk for treatment. Pharmacists welcome this innovation. Many of them say that a broader list could more effectively reduce the burden on the healthcare system, which is currently working at its maximum capacity. According to the data, nearly 35% of emergency department visits could be avoided if patients could get appropriate counseling and prescriptions at the pharmacy. In addition, the additional functionality means another source of income for the pharmacy, although the legislative changes are not supported by budgetary financial support. Patients themselves will pay for these services. 

The downside of the question

With the advent of new responsibilities, problems appear. First of all, you need to take into account the fact that employees will have to perform additional work for the same period of the day. This will affect fatigue, irritability, and misunderstanding. Pharmacists have demanding jobs dealing with medications. It requires certain knowledge and skills. Therefore, tiredness during the day has its place. The level of fraud will become higher. Since previously people tried to trick a doctor one way or another, now they will try to bypass the system just in the pharmacy. 

Due to inexperience or inattention, the doctor may not notice how he hands over the medication to the wrong hands. Unfortunately, this problem exists in many provinces. The state should try its best to eradicate it. Several experts say that this step is wrong and that the burden should fall on the state. A person’s socio-economic status should not determine whether or not they will be able to access medical services if the goal of change is precisely to increase access to medical care.  

Ontario behind other provinces

It is worth noting that other provinces in the country have long had this option. For example, take Alberta, where pharmacy employees have long been able to prescribe virtually all medications except drugs and controlled substances. This improved the customer experience, as now there was no need to visit the hospital unnecessarily to get a referral. In Canada, there is a clear distinction between the systems in which cities function. It depends, of course, on the region, the local administration, and the demand among the population. 

This is normal practice in the country. At the same time, by and large, the state has advanced technology and solutions among other similar countries. Every year new measures are taken in order to improve the situation in the country in all spheres. Ontario is one of the provinces where innovations come later than others. But at the same time, it in no way worsens the situation in the region.  

Bottom line

To summarize, it should be noted that medicine in Canada is progressive. Patients can get the best care they can expect. Moreover, there is a form of insurance in the country. Almost any intervention by doctors is covered by this kind. In mid-2022, pharmacists in Ontario will be able to prescribe medications themselves without involving doctors. According to government agencies, and patients themselves, this has improved the overall healthcare picture in the country. 

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