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Yukon pharmacists can now prescribe meds for ‘common, minor’ ailments

Some pharmacists can also give travel-related shots and prescribe medications for smoking cessation
Prescription pills from the pharmacy seen on Dec. 29. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

As of Dec. 28, Yukoners can get some prescriptions from some pharmacists.

Some Yukon pharmacists are now trained and certified to assess, diagnose and prescribe medications for what a Yukon government release describes as “common, minor ailments.”

In a Dec. 28 release, the territorial government announced that participating pharmacists can also provide injections to prevent travel-related diseases and prescribe medications for quitting smoking.

In the release, patients are responsible for confirming with their individual pharmacist what services they provide as well as what fees are not covered by insurance plans. Training and credentials can vary by pharmacist and there are limits on what they can prescribe.

The release indicates the expansion of services will make better use of pharmacists’ clinical expertise and training.

The changes align with the services offered by pharmacists in other Canadian jurisdictions and will help decrease the burden on emergency rooms, doctors’ offices and the health system in general in the territory, according to the release.

The scope of practice for Yukon pharmacists is still narrower than some provinces in some ways, according to a chart on the Canadian Pharmacists Association website.

In the release, the changes are not intended to replace physician care and a pharmacist may refer patients for treatment at the emergency room or clinic in their community.

A list of “common, minor ailments” on the government’s website includes bug bites, sinus irritation, shingles, strains and sprains.

“Check with your pharmacist to find out if they’re certified or have the training they need and have decided to provide these additional services,” reads the website.

“Respect your pharmacist’s decision.”

In the release, Yukon Pharmacists Association president Joanne Gibson said the changes to pharmacist regulations mean Yukon pharmacists can now offer among the “most extensive” services in Canada.

“Yukon pharmacists are proud to be able to offer yet more health services to Yukoners and appreciate all the work that has gone into making this change in practice happen,” Gibson said.

In the release, Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn said the permanent measures were driven by positive feedback from patients and pharmacists on the temporary services that pharmacists were allowed to dispense during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee said in the release that the new regulations will increase access to some medications and vaccines.

“Our government appreciates the work pharmacists do to support the health and well-being of all Yukoners and we look forward to the greater convenience in our health-care system that these changes will make,” McPhee said.

“We continue to transform our health-care system into a more holistic, collaborative and preventive model that puts people at the centre.”

READ MORE: Pharmacists can refill prescriptions under new Yukon regulations

Contact Dana Hatherly at

Dana Hatherly

About the Author: Dana Hatherly

I’m the legislative reporter for the Yukon News.
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