For over a decade, OPA has been advocating for the expansion of pharmacists’ scope of practice to include the authority to assess and, if necessary, prescribe for minor ailments.

Following extensive advocacy work, regulations authorizing pharmacist prescribing for certain minor ailments came into effect on January 1, 2023. As per amendments made to O. Reg. 202/94 under the Pharmacy Act, 1991, Part A pharmacists, pharmacy students and interns in Ontario are authorized to prescribe certain medications for thirteen minor ailments:

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Conjunctivitis (bacterial, allergic and viral)
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Impetigo
  • Tick bites, post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease
  • Urinary tract infections (uncomplicated)
  • Candidal stomatitis (oral thrush)
  • Dermatitis (atopic, eczema, allergic and contact)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Herpes labialis (cold sores)
  • Insect bites and urticaria (hives)
  • Musculoskeletal sprains and strains

OPA also successfully advocated for the establishment of a publicly funded minor ailment program in Ontario pharmacies that is based on the following principles:

  • Establishment of a fair and reasonable consultation fee that is reflective of the time and professional expertise provided by the pharmacist
  • Equitable access for all Ontarians regardless of eligibility for the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program
  • Funding provided for the assessment of any of the thirteen minor ailment conditions (i.e., regardless of whether a prescription is issued)
  • The ability to provide minor ailment services both in-person and through virtual means where required and appropriate

OPA is fully supportive of expanding the minor ailments program to include additional conditions that pharmacists are able to assess, and if necessary, prescribe treatment to improve patient care. Following the successful start of the program, which saw more than 86,000 minor ailment assessments provided to Ontarians through pharmacies in every public health unit across the province within the first two months, the government is looking to further expand the program with the addition of six additional minor ailments for an anticipated implementation date of Fall 2023:

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


OPA’s continued priorities related to minor ailments include but are not limited to:

  • Advocating for the addition of more minor or common ailment conditions to scope in addition to other expansions of scope of practice that are required to support safe and effective prescribing (e.g., authority to order lab tests, therapeutic substitution)
  • Ensuring that new scopes of practice are appropriately remunerated for under the publicly funded program
  • Enabling pharmacists in all settings to practice to full scope
  • Expanding the publicly funded program to provide remuneration for all minor ailment assessments provided by pharmacists regardless of where it is provided (e.g., long-term care, family health teams, etc.)

OPA Resources

Funding for Minor Ailment Services in Ontario Pharmacies

Supplementary FAQs

Prescribing for Minor Ailments
The Fundamentals

Professional Development Course

Getting Ready for Minor Ailments

Professional Development Webinar

OPA is working on developing additional tools and resources to support the profession with adopting this new scope into their practice. As these become available, OPA will notify members through our email communications and will update this page accordingly.

Additional Resources

MAPflow Annual Subscription

Minor Ailments Prescribing Workflow Tool

MAPflow is a web-based clinical decision support tool designed specifically for the Ontario pharmacy practice environment by Dr. Nardine Nakhla. MAPflow subscriptions are fully portable across multiple sites, enabling pharmacists to use the tool in any practice environment where they perform minor ailments assessments.

OPA Members Save on Annual Subscription