McMaster Health Forum stakeholder videosCommunity pharmacists can provide emergency prescription refills and renew and adapt prescriptions in nine provinces and one territory, prescribe for minor ailments in six provinces and initiate prescription drug therapy in seven provinces, among other expansions to scope of practice.

Pharmacist prescribing authority is somewhat more limited in Ontario, as pharmacists can prescribe only smoking-cessation medications and adapt and renew existing prescriptions.

Dr. Lisa McCarthy, lead of OPEN’s Pharmacist prescribing project, and her team have been working with the McMaster Health Forum — a hub for improving health outcomes through collective problem solving — to gain perspectives and insights of stakeholders on pharmacist prescribing.

“We are interested in views about models in other Canadian provinces, like those in Quebec, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Alberta,” Dr. McCarthy said.

“Stakeholder dialogues are one way we can explore new and different models of care that could allow pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to contribute to more patient care.”

Watch insights from researchers and stakeholders who participated in this McMaster Health Forum dialogue

Researcher — Lisa Guirguis
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta


Researcher — Nancy Waite
OPEN co-lead, Pharmacist Prescribing project co-lead
Ontario College of Pharmacists Professor in Pharmacy Innovation
Professor and Associate Director, Practice-Based Education and Professional Outreach
School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo


Researcher — Lisa McCarthy
Pharmacist Prescribing project lead
Pharmacy Scientist, Women’s College Hospital
Assistant Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto


Stakeholder — Allan Malek
Senior Vice President, Professional Affairs, Ontario Pharmacists Association


Stakeholder — Marshall Moleschi
Chief Executive Officer and Registrar, Ontario College of Pharmacists


Stakeholder — Ray Joubert
Registrar, Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists


Stakeholder — Randy Belair
President (former), Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario
Executive Director, Sunset County Family Health Team

Find out more
  • Bringing patient treatment into the sphere of community pharmacist care
    An article about the research OPEN’s Pharmacist prescribing team is conducting
  • Evidence brief (PDF)
    A McMaster Health Forum document to catalyze debate with stakeholders and start collective problem-solving about the preferred policy option identified through consensus
  • Dialogue summary (PDF)
    A McMaster Health Forum document identifying some of the key challenges facing Ontario’s health system and whether granting prescribing authority to pharmacists could help address these challenges