Tuesday, May 21, 2024

BC pharmacists can now prescribe treatments for minor ailments and contraceptives


As of June 1st, access to prescriptions will be much easier for many people in BC. 

Pharmacists now have the ability to prescribe contraceptives, which are free of charge, as well as medications for 21 types of minor ailments. 

“We are delivering on our commitment to give pharmacists the power to provide prescriptions,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Starting [on June 1st], people can go to their local pharmacy to get the medication they need for many minor ailments and contraceptives.”

“This not only makes it easier and faster for patients to access these services, it also takes pressure off the primary-care providers and our public health-care system as a whole.”

The 21 ailments in which prescriptions can be given by pharmacists are:

  • Acne
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Conjunctivitis (allergic, bacterial or viral)
  • Dermatitis (allergic, atopic, contact, diaper or seborrheic)
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Dyspepsia
  • Fungal infections (onychomycosis, tinea corporis infection, tinea cruris infection or tinea Pedis infection)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Headache
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Herpes labialis
  • Impetigo
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Nicotine dependence
  • Oral ulcers (canker sores, aphthous ulcers)
  • Oropharyngeal candidiasis
  • Shingles
  • Threadworms and pinworms
  • Urinary tract infection (uncomplicated)
  • Urticaria, including insect bites
  • Vaginal candidiasis

To access the new pharmacist-led prescription service, BC residents need to have a Personal Health Number (PHN) and can visit any pharmacy or call to book an appointment. Beginning June 29th, appointments will be able to be made online as well. 

“Community pharmacists are here and ready to help people in BC when they need it,” said Chris Chiew, president of the BC Pharmacy Association. “Across the province, thousands of pharmacists are eager to support patients by using our expertise and training to increase access to care.” 

“Pharmacists are one of the most accessible health-care providers in BC, and we are here for patients when they need us for the treatment of a minor ailment, a prescription for contraception or ensuring they have the medications they need.”

Pharmacists can only do so much for their patients though. According to the province, a health-care provider may be recommended if the condition is deemed out of the pharmacists scope. 

Curtis Blandy

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