The provincial government has approved regulatory changes giving Ontario pharmacists the authority to perform two expanded scope activities, and the College is committed to protecting patient safety and promoting quality care with their expanded roles.
As of December 11, 2020, Ontario pharmacists are now authorized to:
- Administer the flu vaccine to children as young as two years old
- Renew prescriptions in quantities of up to one year’s supply
This expands from the previous expectation of pharmacists to be able to administer the flu vaccine to children as young as five and renewing prescriptions in quantities of up to six month’s supply.
Additional expanded scope activities that are being considered by the government include administering certain substances by injection and/or inhalation for purposes that are in addition to patient education and demonstration, and pharmacist prescribing for certain minor ailments. The draft regulations for these activities that were submitted to government have not yet been approved.
Resources for Pharmacy Professionals:
The College has prepared a number of resources and practice tools to support registrants in the exercise of their expanded scope of pharmacy practice. Visit the Resources for Pharmacy Professionals for more information.
In addition to these resources, the following existing guidelines have been revised to incorporate the expectations of expanded scope:
- Administering a Substance by Injection or Inhalation
- Initiating, Adapting and Renewing Prescriptions
For the General Public:
The ability of Ontario pharmacists to administer the flu vaccine to children as young as two years old and to renew prescriptions in quantities of up to one year’s supply adds to the list of healthcare services pharmacists were already authorized to provide, including:
- Ensuring prescriptions are the right drug and dosage to best treat conditions
- Ensuring prescriptions do not negatively interact with allergies or other medications
- Counselling patients on how to take medication properly, including demonstrating how to inject insulin or use inhalers, as well as about drug side effects
- Providing a medication review, ideal for patients taking multiple medications at once, where a pharmacist reviews all the medications a patient is taking to ensure they know how to take them correctly
- Adapting prescriptions, when appropriate, which can include changing medications from a capsule to a liquid, adjusting the dose, and changing how often it is taken
- Prescribing medication to help patients quit smoking, as well as offering ongoing monitoring and support
The College offers optional training for pharmacists to ensure they have the knowledge and confidence to safely administer vaccines to young children.
It is important to note that not all pharmacies will offer all of these healthcare services. Speak to your pharmacist to find out more about the services they provide, and to find out if they are right for you.