MedChoice

MedChoice Contact information, map and directions, contact form, opening hours, services, ratings, photos, videos and announcements from MedChoice, Pharmacy / Drugstore, 195 Riveria Drive Unit 2, Markham, ON.

MedChoice Digital Pharmacy is focused on serving Canadians coast-to-coast by offering full pharmacy services that can be accessed from the comfort of your home, which saves you time and significant costs on prescription and over-the-counter products.

💖 Giving back is in our DNA at MedChoice! For every service dollar you spend, we donate $0.05 to a charity YOU choose. T...
11/08/2023

💖 Giving back is in our DNA at MedChoice! For every service dollar you spend, we donate $0.05 to a charity YOU choose. Together, we can make a difference in our communities. 🌍❤️

🚀 Getting started with MedChoice is as easy as 1-2-3!    📝 Step 1: Register online    📄 Step 2: Transfer or send us your...
11/06/2023

🚀 Getting started with MedChoice is as easy as 1-2-3!
📝 Step 1: Register online
📄 Step 2: Transfer or send us your prescription info
🌟 Step 3: Sit back and relax, we handle everything else!
Join us today and experience the MedChoice difference. 💙

Pharmacist at Your Fingertips 📞Your well-being matters! Get private access to a pharmacist via phone, video, text, or em...
08/30/2023

Pharmacist at Your Fingertips 📞
Your well-being matters! Get private access to a pharmacist via phone, video, text, or email. Quality care, all from the comfort of home.

Medication, Your Way 📦Experience personalized care with tailored medication packaging – from easy-open vials to pre-fill...
08/28/2023

Medication, Your Way 📦
Experience personalized care with tailored medication packaging – from easy-open vials to pre-filled packets with vitamins. Your convenience, our commitment!

🚚✉️ Experience the personal touch with MedChoice! We offer free tracked discreet delivery and tailor your medication pac...
07/21/2023

🚚✉️ Experience the personal touch with MedChoice! We offer free tracked discreet delivery and tailor your medication packaging and orders according to your needs. Enjoy the convenience of auto-refills, reminders, and pre-filled packets. Start your personalized pharmacy experience now! 💙📦

🏡 Access pharmacy services discreetly from the comfort of your home with MedChoice! Enjoy low out-of-pocket costs and ma...
07/20/2023

🏡 Access pharmacy services discreetly from the comfort of your home with MedChoice! Enjoy low out-of-pocket costs and maximize your savings with 3-month supplies for chronic medications. Take control of your health today! 💊💙

-🚀 The Future of Pharmacy is Here 🌟Experience the convenience and innovation of MedChoice Digital Pharmacy. With persona...
06/06/2023

-🚀 The Future of Pharmacy is Here 🌟
Experience the convenience and innovation of MedChoice Digital Pharmacy. With personalized medication packaging, cutting-edge AI technology, and fast same or next day delivery in the Greater Toronto Area, we are revolutionizing the way you access pharmacy services. Plus, earn rewards and support local charities with our loyalty program. Join us today and discover the future of pharmacy! 🌟💻

Looking for an affordable and convenient way to access your medication? MedChoice Digital Pharmacy has got you covered! ...
06/06/2023

Looking for an affordable and convenient way to access your medication? MedChoice Digital Pharmacy has got you covered! Our low dispensing fees, 3-month supply options, and high-volume dispensing systems will help you save big on your medication expenses. Join us today and start taking advantage of our cost-saving benefits! 💰💊

✍ 16 Common Causes of Night Sweats! What to Do About It?Waking up in a pool of sweat is a relatively common experience t...
11/29/2022

✍ 16 Common Causes of Night Sweats! What to Do About It?

Waking up in a pool of sweat is a relatively common experience that people refer to as “night sweats.” In most cases, they aren’t a cause for concern. Usually, they mean the room is too hot or the bedding is too heavy.
But, every now and then, they’re a sign of an underlying health condition. We’ll explain the most common causes of night sweats — and how to know if you should see your provider to rule out if anything more serious is going on.
The most common causes of night sweats
Night sweats often have nothing to do with a person’s health. They’re a symptom of the natural changes that happen when you sleep. For example, they can be a result of:
Sleepwear: Your pajamas may be causing you to overheat at night. This is especially true if your pajamas have long sleeves or if they’re made from a heavier material like fleece or flannel.
Sleep environment: When most people picture going to sleep, they imagine curling up in a warm cozy bed. Nestling under a heap of covers can actually help you fall asleep. But if you like a heavy blanket, it’s important to keep the room temperature cold (60°F to 67°F is the ideal range).
Medications: Many medications may cause excessive sweating and lead to night sweats. Common ones include: medications that help bring down fevers, like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil); steroids, like prednisone; certain antidepressants, like amitriptyline, duloxetine, and venlafaxine; and medications for diabetes, like insulin and pioglitazone.
Menopause: Hot flashes can occur at night while you’re sleeping. These are common during menopause or perimenopause — the period of time around menopause when a person’s body starts changing in preparation for menopause.
Menstruation: A decrease in the hormone estrogen can cause the body to be more sensitive to temperature changes. This change happens right before and at the start of a person’s menstrual period. And it may cause some people to experience night sweats. To read more...👇

https://www.medchoice.ca/16-common-causes-of-night-sweats-what-to-do-about-it/

Written by Cherilyn Cecchini, MD | Reviewed by Katie E. Golden, MD | Photo by Miriam Alonso on pexels

Waking up in a pool of sweat is a relatively common experience that people refer to as “night sweats.” usually does not need to concern

✍  Does Xanax Cause Memory Loss or Dementia?In the past year, almost 13% of Americans reported using benzodiazepines — l...
11/21/2022

✍ Does Xanax Cause Memory Loss or Dementia?
In the past year, almost 13% of Americans reported using benzodiazepines — like Xanax (alprazolam). Among these people, 80% take it for anxiety, and 20% take it for insomnia. But the way that benzodiazepines affect the brain means they can also affect memory. And when people experience these side effects — particularly older adults — it can lead to concerns about dementia.

We’ll explain exactly how Xanax and other benzodiazepines affect memory. We’ll also cover what the science says about its connection to long-term conditions like dementia.
How does Xanax affect memory?

Xanax (alprazolam) is a type of benzodiazepine, a group of medications that mainly treats anxiety disorders. But their calming effect comes with some side effects. Xanax and other benzodiazepines also affect mental processing speed, attention, memory, and physical activity. In particular, benzodiazepines can cause loss of memory (amnesia) of events that occur while the medication is in your system.

Xanax works by attaching to GABA receptors in the brain that slow down the release of certain brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) in nearby areas. The result is a general decrease in brain signals, causing drowsiness and forgetfulness. This wears off as you metabolize the medication. Your body can take anywhere from 6 to 20 hours to remove just half of a Xanax dose. And your body takes much longer than that (4 to 5 times as long) to completely remove the medication.
Can Xanax cause short-term memory loss?

Xanax can cause memory loss while it’s still active in the body. This is especially true during that window (about 6 to 20 hours) when over half the dose is still in your system. During this time, memory gaps can occur. You may forget events or conversations that happened after taking a dose of Xanax, similar to the way people have trouble remembering their dreams.

And it’s important to note that other benzodiazepines — like diazepam (Va**um) — can last even longer. As a comparison, the body takes 20 to 100 hours to excrete half the dose of diazepam. To read more...👇

https://www.medchoice.ca/does-xanax-cause-memory-loss-or-dementia/

Written by Valerie Jones, MD | Reviewed by Katie E. Golden, MD | Photo by cottonbro studio on pexels

We’ll explain exactly how Xanax and other benzodiazepines affect memory Does Xanax Cause Memory Loss or Dementia?

✍  Could Vitamin C Help Reduce Gout?Could taking vitamin C help to reduce the chances of developing gout? A new study sh...
11/09/2022

✍ Could Vitamin C Help Reduce Gout?

Could taking vitamin C help to reduce the chances of developing gout? A new study sheds light on this possibility.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that has been on the rise in the US in recent decades. Considered a lifestyle disease, some research has shown that instances of the condition have more than doubled in recent years as rates of obesity have skyrocketed. It’s caused by uric acid in the blood that builds up and crystalizes in the joints. Flare-ups are so intense that the joints can turn a cherry red and vibrate with intense — and sometimes seemingly intolerable — pain.
While there are effective treatments, many people fail to take their medications when they’re not in pain, and if the condition goes unchecked, it can get much worse and cause permanent damage to the joints.
“Gout can cause flare-ups that vary in frequency and severity; but sometimes when people aren’t experiencing them, they’re less likely to stay on top of their medications,” says Stephen Juraschek, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
That’s why lifestyle interventions are seen as particularly relevant to a disease like gout. Vitamin C, for example, has few side effects, and for those with higher levels of uric acid in the blood, it could reduce the likelihood of getting the condition. A recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who were given 500 milligrams of vitamin C versus placebo had a 12% reduced risk of getting gout. The study of over 14,000 male doctors showed that men who weren’t overweight had the most significant reduction in the risk of getting the condition. (Excess weight has been shown to increase the risk of gout.) To read more...👇
https://www.medchoice.ca/could-vitamin-c-help-reduce-gout/
Sara Novak, October 06, 2022, | Photo by Kindel Media onm pexels

Could taking vitamin C help reduce the chances of developing gout? A new study sheds light on this possibility. 24 Hour Online Pharmacy -

✍ 11 Symptoms That Could Be Early Signs of Parkinson’s DiseaseParkinson’s disease (PD) is a type of movement disorder th...
11/07/2022

✍ 11 Symptoms That Could Be Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a type of movement disorder that is caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. PD develops when a special type of brain cell that produces dopamine starts to die.
PD is a progressive disorder, meaning that it steadily gets worse as the number of these brain cells decreases. This also means that the earliest symptoms can be subtle. And so many people are not diagnosed with PD until their symptoms get worse with time.
If you’re worried that you or someone you know has PD — you’re not alone. It can be hard to know if someone’s symptoms are truly PD or if they’re something else. We’ll discuss 11 early signs and symptoms of PD. This way you know when to see a provider to find out what’s going on.
Who is at risk for Parkinson’s disease?
Scientists are still trying to understand what puts someone at higher risk for PD. But they know that the following factors play a role:
Age: This is the biggest risk factor for developing PD. In most cases, PD is diagnosed when someone is over 65 years old. But people younger than 50 can still develop PD. Experts think that when a younger person develops PD, it’s more likely because of their genetics.
Genetics: Scientists believe that genes that someone inherits from their parents cause up to 15% of PD cases. And a smaller number of those are due to specific genetic mutations. But the data is still limited. Even though genetics plays a role, most cases of PD do not run in the family. And even when they do, genetics probably isn’t the only reason that someone gets PD.
Environment: Exposure to toxins in the environment may also play a role in PD risk. These include pesticides, cyanide, herbicides, methanol, and carbon disulfide. People are more likely to be exposed to these chemicals if they live in a rural area, drink well water, or work in agriculture. But just like genetics, exposure to these toxins is likely not the only reason a person develops PD.
Lifestyle: Research shows that cigarette smoking and caffeine intake may actually protect someone against developing PD. But other health risks associated with these may outweigh the potential benefits. To read more...👇

https://www.medchoice.ca/11-symptoms-that-could-be-early-signs-of-parkinsons-disease/

Written by Cherilyn Cecchini, MD | Reviewed by Katie E. Golden, MD | Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a type of movement disorder that is caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. PD develops when a special type of brain cell that produces dopamine starts to die. 11 Symptoms That Could Be Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

✍  ‘Stop Pretending’ There’s a Magic Formula to Weight LossIs there a diet or weight-loss program out there that doesn’t...
11/01/2022

✍ ‘Stop Pretending’ There’s a Magic Formula to Weight Loss

Is there a diet or weight-loss program out there that doesn’t work for those who stick with it during its first 12 weeks?

Truly, the world’s most backward, upside-down, anti-science, nonsensical diets work over the short haul, fueled by the fact that short-term suffering for weight loss is a skillset that humanity has assiduously cultivated for at least the past 100 years. We’re really good at it!

It’s the keeping the weight off, though, that’s the hitch. Which leads me to the question, why are medical journals, even preeminent non-predatory ones, publishing 12-week weight-loss program studies as if they have value? And does anyone truly imagine that after over 100 years of trying, there’ll be a short-term diet or program that’ll have the durable, reproducible results that no other short-term diet or program ever has? Why are we still pretending that there’s a magic bullet out there?
Take this study published by Obesity just last month, “Pragmatic implementation of a fully automated online obesity treatment in primary care.” It details a 12-week online, automated, weight-loss program that led completers to lose roughly 5% of the weight that many diets and programs see lost over their first 12 weeks. By its description, aside from its automated provision, the program sounds like pretty much the same boilerplate weight management advice and recommendations that haven’t been shown to lead large numbers of people to sustain long-term weight loss.
To read more...👇

https://www.medchoice.ca/stop-pretending-theres-a-magic-formula-to-weight-loss/

Written by Yoni Freedhoff, MD, August 17, 2022 | Photo by Farhad Ibrahimzade on Unsplash

✍ 9 Telltale Signs Your Testosterone Levels Are LowTestosterone is a hormone that both men and women make naturally. It’...
10/17/2022

✍ 9 Telltale Signs Your Testosterone Levels Are Low

Testosterone is a hormone that both men and women make naturally. It’s especially important for male s*xual health and overall well-being.
As you get older, it is normal for testosterone levels to drop. Low testosterone levels (called “low T” for short) affect between 2% and 6% of all men. Low T symptoms can include erectile dysfunction, low fertility, and even osteoporosis. Not all men get symptoms, however.
The good news is, treatment is usually pretty straightforward. Here’s what you need to know about the causes of low T, early symptoms, and treatment options.
What does testosterone do in the male body?
Testosterone is a s*x hormone. It is involved in many aspects of male health, including:
-Puberty and male s*xual development
-S*x drive
-Bone strength
-Muscle growth
-Red blood cell production
-Energy and mood
Having low T can affect all these functions.
To read more...👇

https://www.medchoice.ca/9-telltale-signs-your.../

Written by Christina Aungst, PharmD | Reviewed by Meg Burke, MD

✍ Some Smokers Don’t Get Lung Cancer; Genetics Might Explain ItSome smokers might not get lung cancer because of their D...
10/04/2022

✍ Some Smokers Don’t Get Lung Cancer; Genetics Might Explain It

Some smokers might not get lung cancer because of their DNA, researchers report in a new study.
These people have genes that help limit mutations, or changes, to DNA that would turn cells malignant and make them grow into tumors, the researchers say.
Scientists have long suspected that smoking leads to lung cancer by triggering DNA mutations in healthy cells. But it was hard for them to identify the mutations in healthy cells that might help predict future cancer risk, Jan Vijg, Ph.D., a senior author of the study and researcher at the University School of Medicine in Shanghai, China, said in a statement.
His team used a process called single-cell whole genome sequencing to examine cells lining the lungs of 19 smokers and 14 nonsmokers ranging in age from their pre-teens to their mid-80s. The cells came from patients who had tissue samples collected from their lungs during diagnostic testing unrelated to cancer.
The researchers specifically looked at cells lining the lungs because these cells can survive for years and build up mutations over time that are linked to aging and smoking.
“Of all the lung’s cell types, these are among the most likely to become cancerous,” says Simon Spivack, MD, a senior author of the study and professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
Smokers had far more gene mutations that can cause lung cancer than nonsmokers, the analysis found. To read more...👇

https://www.medchoice.ca/some-smokers-dont-get-lung-cancer-genetics-might-explain-it/

Writen by Lisa Rapaport, May 19, 2022, | Photo by Megan Forbes on pexels

Using technology to build a competitive benefits planEmployers are increasingly facing a tight labor market and need to ...
08/16/2022

Using technology to build a competitive benefits plan

Employers are increasingly facing a tight labor market and need to compete for top talent with a stronger benefits offering.
Using technology to compare offerings across insurance companies and other providers can ensure employers have a cost-competitive plan that speaks to employees’ needs, said Matt Lister, co-founder, and chief executive officer at Cloud-advisors, during Benefits Canada’s 2022 Tech Insights conference in mid-April.
According to Lister, 90 percent of Canadian businesses — representing more than one million employers — haven’t updated their employee benefits plan in 10 years. That means many employers have made no changes to key benefits offerings including disability coverage; to their drug plans to address emerging issues around biologic, high-cost specialty medications, and digital pharmacy; or to mental-health coverage and other benefits that meet diverse employee needs.
“That problem — the impact of that problem — is really felt by employees and their family members. They’re relying on their extended health benefits for access to health care for access to dental care, for access to mental-health resources, and new things they otherwise wouldn’t be able to access.”
Lister said this situation can be partially attributed to Canada’s unique market — while 80 percent of employers offer some type of benefits plan, 98 percent are small- or medium-sized employers with fewer than 100 employees. Their benefits decisions are made behind closed doors, often with the business owner and human resources representative along with an advisor. This brokerage approach, he said, isn’t working at scale: employers need more accessibility, transparency, and simplicity to help them make benefits decisions.
That’s why Lister developed Cloud-advisors, a digital platform designed to provide employers with access to the employee benefits marketplace, give advisors access to more data that helps them provide better advice to their plan sponsor clients, and allow providers to show off their solutions... To Read More...👇

https://www.medchoice.ca/using-technology-to-build-a-competitive-benefits-plan/

Written By Kelsey Rolfe | Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Using technology to compare offerings across insurance companies and other providers can ensure employers have a cost-competitive plan that speaks to employees’ needs, said Matt Lister, co-founder, and chief executive officer at Cloud Advisors, during Benefits Canada’s 2022 Tech Insights confere...

What Is Monkeypox?Monkeypox is a viral infection. It’s similar to the virus that causes smallpox, and it leads to a simi...
08/02/2022

What Is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a viral infection. It’s similar to the virus that causes smallpox, and it leads to a similar rash. Fortunately, monkeypox is much less deadly than smallpox. And it does not spread from person to person as easily.

Monkeypox can infect both humans and animals, which is how it got its name. Researchers identified the first case in monkeys in the 1950s. Then they confirmed the first case of monkeypox in humans in the 1970s in Africa. Most of the time, monkeypox in humans happens from exposure to sick animals. Human-to-human spread is less common.

Most cases of monkeypox in humans have been in Africa. But there have been small clusters and outbreaks in countries where the virus is much less common, including the U.S.
What to know about recent monkeypox outbreaks

The biggest monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa happened in the U.S. in 2003, when 70 people came down with the illness. The outbreak started when people imported prairie dogs that were temporarily housed with infected rodents from Ghana. The virus did not spread far beyond the people who had direct contact with the animals, and nobody died from the infection.

In July 2021, one person in the U.S. developed monkeypox after returning from Africa. The same thing happened again in November 2021 (a person had recently traveled back to the U.S. from Africa). In both cases, no one else was infected.

In May 2022, authorities identified several small clusters of people with monkeypox across North America and Europe. They found the first case in the U.S. in someone who recently traveled from Canada. The CDC continues to monitor the country for potential new cases. The source of these clusters is not yet clear. But it may be related to very close, direct physical contact with someone who is infected. We discuss spread and transmission in more detail below. To Read More...👇

https://www.medchoice.ca/what-is-monkeypox/?fbclid=IwAR3X6W8IV15NNWFERjHiTPB2XEe6nq6wJ_QO8BrhoG69o3wMzbzmAGLdxHk

Writen by Ryan Syrek June 10, 2022 | Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevichpexels

Monkeypox is a viral infection. It’s similar to the virus that causes smallpox, and it leads to a similar rash. Fortunately, monkeypox is much less deadly than smallpox. And it does not spread from person to person as easily. Monkeypox can infect both humans and animals, which is how it got its na...

How digital administration can improve benefits plan access for employees?Employers, employees, and benefits advisors al...
07/18/2022

How digital administration can improve benefits plan access for employees?

Employers, employees, and benefits advisors alike have long struggled with the inefficient and largely paper-based approach to administrating benefits.

Advisors face long wait times for quotes, employers face the annoyance of a slow onboarding process that prevents employees from accessing their benefits immediately after enrolment, and employees can have difficulty submitting claims and face confusion over what their plan actually covers.
Jeff Cox, chief executive officer and founder of third-party payer Simply Benefits, created a completely digital employee benefits portal for plan sponsors, members, and benefits advisors to address those pain points.

“For us, it’s very important that we use our technology to deliver a better customer service experience,” he said during Benefits Canada’s 2022 Tech Insights conference in mid-April. “We really wanted to engage all three users and ensure that they felt like they were getting the information they wanted at any given time.”

The digital portal eliminates the need for paper and operates in real-time. Plan members submit claims directly or digitally through their desktop or mobile app. After the Simply Benefits team adjudicates the health or dental claims in-house, plan members receive reimbursement through direct deposit within 48 hours.

Cox said Simply Benefits has a 48-hour service level agreement and is able to resolve 75 percent of members’ calls on first contact.
The app has a digital drug card powered by Assure, so members can direct bills at the pharmacy. It’s also connected to the electronic dental system, which allows the company to auto-adjudicate dental claims.

The portal allows employees to see real-time claims data and usage tracking, broken down by each benefit, so they know how much coverage they have used and remaining for the year. If an employee files health or dental claim that puts them over their yearly maximum, the platform will prompt them to claim the extra amount through their health-care spending account.

To help employees understand their coverage, the portal uses artificial intelligence-powered search tools. Members can type in questions or comments such as “I hurt my back” or “I need a crown” and be directed to the appropriate benefits coverage.

Simply Benefits is also preparing to launch its optional benefits program in-app in the summer of 2022. Plan members can purchase their optional benefits online, through a direct withdrawal from their bank account, in minutes.

Plan sponsors and administrators have the ability to deploy enrolments and view their invoices in real-time. The portal also allows them to see active and pending enrolments and run reports that Cox said were commonly requested by employers, such as on their over-age members and dependants, benefits usage by members, HCSA and lifestyle spending account balances, taxable benefits, long-term disability and certificate listings.

“We really looked at everything that was challenging employers and said, ‘How do we get it on the system and how do we give them access to it?’” he said.

The enrolment piece was critical, said Cox, noting it seemed to be the largest challenge employers faced in the benefits administration process. The process allows employers to email enrolments to employees — from there, it takes roughly seven minutes to fill out. The portal offers interactive messaging for employees’ ease, such as explaining what a common-law partner is or waiving certain benefits if they’re covered by another health plan.

Plan sponsors have the ability to label their portal with their internal branding, which Cox said builds employees’ awareness of what their employer provides for them. “We really feel like it helps with culture and the engagement with benefits.”

Advisors, meanwhile, can use the platform to build plan designs for new plan sponsor clients, run reporting on existing clients and track pertinent metrics. To Read More...👇
https://www.medchoice.ca/how-digital-administration-can-improve-benefits-plan-access-for-employees/

Written by By Kelsey Rolfe | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Employers, employees, and benefits advisors alike have long struggled with the inefficient and largely paper-based approach to administrating benefits. Advisors face long wait times for quotes, employers face the annoyance of a slow onboarding process that prevents employees from accessing their ben...

How pharmacist prescribing can alleviate health-care system pressuresStarting next January, pharmacists in Ontario will ...
07/11/2022

How pharmacist prescribing can alleviate health-care system pressures

Starting next January, pharmacists in Ontario will be able to prescribe medications to treat patients for certain minor ailments. This expanding scope of work is a natural evolution of the wider services pharmacists across the province have been performing since COVID-19 began to stretch the health-care system. They have taken on COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and the distribution of antiviral medications like Paxlovid.

The immense pressures COVID-19 puts on health services across Canada could be long-lasting, and Ontario health authorities are wise to make better use of pharmacists to reduce visits to emergency departments and help develop a more sustainable health-care system. This is also the time to examine and address important concerns about potential fragmentation of care and potential for conflicts of interest as the scope of pharmacists’ work expands.

Reducing emergency department visits

The average wait time in Ontario emergency departments in 2019 climbed to a record high of 16.3 hours, the CBC reported. Avoidable visits are a contributing factor. A report published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information in 2014 found that 1.4 million visits may have been unnecessary, often the result of treatment sought for minor ailments such as a sore throat. A simple urinary tract infection, for example, can necessitate a visit to the emergency department if it strikes outside of clinics’ or doctors’ hours when all that is needed are antibiotics.

Nearly 35 per cent of avoidable emergency room visits could be managed by pharmacists prescribing for minor ailments.

However, the scope of practice for pharmacists across Canada varies dramatically. Up until now, Ontario has been a laggard in advancing pharmacist prescribing for minor ailments. British Columbia still is. But in Alberta, for example, pharmacists can prescribe any non-narcotic or controlled prescription medication independently and order lab tests for patients.

With an estimated price tag of $304 per emergency room visit, expanding pharmacists’ scope could bring significant savings for the government and reduce the workload of emergency staff. Furthermore, a recent study evaluated a scenario in which Ontario pharmacists prescribed for minor ailments, and found significant potential savings per year: $38,985,402 for treatment of upper respiratory tract infections, $3,782,753 for contact dermatitis, and $4,890 for conjunctivitis.
In 8 out of 10 provinces, pharmacists already prescribe medications to treat minor ailments. Alberta pharmacists have been doing it since 2007. Ontario, however, has lagged, with critical expansions in scope such as administration of COVID-19 vaccinations and PCR testing born out of necessity rather than foresight.
But earlier in May, notable amendments to Ontario’s Pharmacy Act were formally approved. The section under “Controlled Acts” has expanded to include prescribing of medications for 13 minor ailments in a newly created Schedule 4 of the legislation. These minor ailments are:

Allergic rhinitis
Candidal stomatitis
Conjunctivitis (bacterial, allergic or viral)
Dermatitis (atopic/eczema, allergic or contact)
Dysmenorrhea
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Hemorrhoids
Herpes labialis
Impetigo
Insect bites and urticaria
Tick bites, post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease
Musculoskeletal sprains and strains
Urinary tract infection (uncomplicated)

Fragmentation and other concerns

Patient care is never done in isolation. A key aspect of pharmacist intervention is understanding when to make referrals to physicians. Minor ailment prescribing can ease the workload of family physicians and emergency rooms, but many conditions are best addressed at the doctor’s office.

The potential for further fragmentation of care must be addressed. The Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario and the Ontario College of Family Physicians have both strongly emphasized continuity of care in letters submitted to the Ontario College of Pharmacists.

Pharmacists must be integrated within Ontario’s electronic health records system and communicate any prescribing actions to the patient’s physician. Communicating care to physicians is already a standard of care. For example, patients visiting their pharmacist for a medication review will have a notice sent to their family physician describing any discrepancies identified or interventions made. It is expected that with prescribing for minor ailments, any interventions will be similarly shared with the family physician.

Conflicts of interest are another major concern, as highlighted in a letter from the Ontario Medical Association. Conflicts can arise when pharmacies are incentivized to prescribe in order to receive compensation for medication dispensing. There should be compensation for this service regardless of whether the drug is dispensed. This places the act of prescribing at the centre of the patient interaction. With compensation separated from dispensing, such a framework reduces the risk of potential overuse of medication by cutting the incentive for pharmacists to prescribe solely to increase the volume of drugs dispensed in pursuit of making the service profitable.

Nonetheless, pharmacist prescribing needs to be monitored for its quality of service and the process should be evaluated on an ongoing basis. The solution to conflicts of interest is greater transparency, as it is with the health-care system as a whole.

Lastly, there are also concerns of misdiagnosis or insufficient education and training. However, the minor ailments selected are amongst the many therapeutic areas pharmacists are equipped to address. Students graduating from Canadian pharmacy schools undergo four years of training and matriculate with a professional doctorate. Some even complete a one-to-two-year residency where they often receive specialized training within a hospital setting. Furthermore, to support this expansion in scope, there will be additional training and courses specific to the prescribing for minor ailments.

The successful mobilization of pharmacists during this crisis has demonstrated that they can do more to alleviate pressures on the health-care system. However, pharmacist services continue to differ across the country, and all provincial governments need to evaluate whether their current health-care strategy best captures this untapped opportunity. Minor ailments may prove to be a great opportunity to relieve pressure from a strained system. To Read More...👇

https://www.medchoice.ca/how-pharmacist-prescribing-can-alleviate-health-care-system-pressures/

By Peter Zhang, Mina Tadrous. Originally published on Policy Options | Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on pexels

Starting next January, pharmacists in Ontario will be able to prescribe medications to treat patients for certain minor ailments. This expanding scope of work is a natural evolution of the wider services pharmacists across the province have been performing since COVID-19 began to stretch the health-...

Address

195 Riveria Drive Unit 2
Markham, ON
L3R5J6

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 6pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 6pm
Friday 9am - 6pm

Telephone

+18887005535

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when MedChoice posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to MedChoice:

Share


Other Pharmacies / Drugstores in Markham

Show All