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.

Timeline

2012

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

2016

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.

2020

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

2021

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).

2022

Regulation changes authorizing pharmacy professionals to perform certain Point-of-Care Tests came into effect on July 1, 2022.

2023

As of January 1, 2023, regulation changes authorize pharmacists to prescribe for certain minor ailments.

The list of minor ailments for which pharmacists may treat was developed by the College’s Minor Ailments Advisory Group (MAAG), comprising patient advisors as well as experts in pharmacy, medicine, public health, antimicrobial stewardship, and health systems research. The list was submitted to the government for approval following several months of engagement with registrants, health system partners, other health professions and patients, as well as a 60-day open public consultation. MAAG’s Summary of Recommendations for Pharmacists Prescribing for Minor Ailments report provides additional information about MAAG and the process used to define minor ailments and inform the regulatory changes.

Draft regulations to authorize pharmacists to administer certain substances by injection and/or inhalation for treatment purposes are pending government approval before coming into effect.