Evolution of Pharmacy Scope of Practice
Expanded scope activities build upon a growing list of healthcare services that pharmacy professionals have been authorized to provide to patients in recent years.
In October 2012, the provincial government first announced regulations that expanded the role of pharmacists in Ontario, giving them the authority to use their professional judgment to:
- Initiate therapy for smoking cessation with varenicline or bupropion
- Renew and adapt prescriptions for up to six months
- Administer injections or inhalation (for the purpose of education or demonstration)
- Administer the flu vaccine to patients as young as five years old
In December 2016, building on the success of the pharmacists’ participation in the administration of flu shots through the province’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP), the provincial government enacted regulations that authorized pharmacists to administer 15 additional vaccines.
In December 2020, regulations enacted by the provincial government authorized pharmacists to:
- Administer the flu vaccine to patients as young as two years old
- Renew prescriptions in quantities of up to a 12-month supply
In November 2021, the provincial government approved regulation changes to authorize injection-trained pharmacy technicians to administer influenza vaccine by injection to patients two years of age or older, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP).
Regulation changes authorizing pharmacy professionals to perform certain Point-of-Care Tests came into effect on July 1, 2022.
As of January 1, 2023, regulation changes authorize pharmacists to prescribe for certain minor ailments.
In March 2023, the College’s Board of Directors approved submitting draft regulation changes to the Minister of Health that, if approved by government, would add six additional minor ailments to those for which pharmacists may prescribe medications. The College is also re-engaging the Minor Ailments Advisory Group and other relevant stakeholders to explore the addition of further minor ailments for which pharmacists could prescribe, including those that may require additional scope of practice expansion to support safe and effective prescribing. Learn more on the Minor Ailments Expansion web page.