Citizen asks some very pointed questions on pharmacists being able to do some prescription work - wonders as well when the public will hear from MPP Natalie Pierre

By Penny Hersh

December 30th, 2022



I have done some investigation regarding the ability for pharmacists to prescribe certain medications.

This will not be an easy transition. One pharmacist I spoke to indicated that they “were still in the queue” to be registered with the Ontario Government. “There is a lot of paperwork and training that is required prior to being able to prescribe this medication”.

Another pharmacists indicated that they are hoping to be able to start doing this as soon as possible after January 1st. The pharmacies have to be able to sync their computer system with the government’s lab systems. When doing this they will be told which medication should be prescribed. THERE WILL BE NO CONSULTATION FEE PAID FOR BY THE PATIENT- the government will pay the pharmacies for this.

Burlington MPP Natalie Pierre: yet to say very much to the community about anything.

My question to the pharmacist was would third party insurance companies recognize the pharmacist as a provider? His answer was he did not know, and would only find out when they send in the request to the insurance company.

I have emailed Natalie Pierre who is the MPP for Burlington to ask this question? I have also emailed my third party insurance company for an answer.

Seniors will have no issue as the pharmacy will be automatically accepted as a provider ( providing the prescription is one that falls under the government’s acceptance – some medications are not included).

Yet again, the government has claimed to make things easier for Ontario patients, but has failed to provide the necessary training etc. for this program to be rolled out by January 1st, 2023.

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4 comments to Citizen asks some very pointed questions on pharmacists being able to do some prescription work – wonders as well when the public will hear from MPP Natalie Pierre

  • Penny Hersh


    From what I understand, how the pharmacist explained it to me, there is some sort of algorithm that will decide what type of medication should be dispensed once the patient’s symptoms are entered into the system.

    One of the pharmacists I spoke to was very excited about being able to do this. The other pharmacist was much more timid about taking the responsibility to prescribe any medication.

    In some instances it is the pharmacist that will discover that what was being prescribed by the physician should not be ( allergies or contraindications with other medications that have been prescribed). A good pharmacist in my mind is very important to the health of patients.

    Pharmacists presently are giving flu and covid injections. Most of the illnesses on the list are for very minor issues.

    My take – The government will pay much less to the pharmacist for prescribing these meds. Prior to Covid 19 many patients had to see their physician to get a prescription repeated. The physician was then able to bill for a visit.

    Unless this has changed, some physicians get paid on a fee per service basis, others are in a capitation program ( they get paid a yearly fee per patient- large group practices). In the capitation program, if a patient goes to a walk-in clinic or sees another physician ,not in their practice, they are penalized.) They don’t bill the government every time they see their patient.

    Presently the government pays much less for a telephone appointment with their physician, and more if you go into their office. I have noticed that both options are being offered. The in-office appointments seem to available earlier than the telephone appointment. This can differ in the way the physician chooses to schedule their patients.

    It would be interesting to know what the physicians think about this.

    I would like to know if once pharmacists are allowed and able to prescribe medication for the 13 illnesses listed if the physician is no longer able to do this?

    I plan on finding out what the pharmacy will be paid for each medication they prescribe vs what would be paid to the physician.

    Patients need to advocate for themselves.

    • Penny you have done an excellent job on dealing with the issues the community needs to know about. Anne’s experience in health care administration that included a family physician unit and our interest in these matters as Health, Safety and Access Advocates auditing the system on behalf of those who have been negatively affected, we continue to see this as an excellent move forward that needs to have a better communication sytem on how it will work.

  • perryb

    Rolling out tomorrow with no sign of a process to match the glorious words and promises. Why are we not surprised?

  • Joe Gaetan

    So, would a pharmacist be required to fill the Rx with a med of their choosing, or from a list? And whlie they are at it, why not make more meds OTC. Then there is the matter of privacy, and oh yes will all of our private health files be uploaded to the new and improved but not quite ready for prime time E-health.