Roles of Pharmacy in Canada

Canadian pharmacies play a significant role in the healthcare system by providing safe, affordable, and accessible medications to patients. They are regulated by Health Canada, which ensures that all drugs sold in Canadian pharmacies are safe and of high quality.


One of the primary roles of Canadian pharmacies is to dispense prescription medications to patients. Patients who have a valid prescription from a licensed healthcare provider can have their medications filled at a Canadian pharmacy. These medications can include prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and medical devices.


As of January 1, 2023 pharmacies across Ontario are now able to provided prescriptions for thirteen common ailments. This service makes it more convenient to access care by removing a doctor’s office visit and comes at no extra cost. Ontario is following a number of other provinces in Canada that have addressed the importance of pharmacies and increased their scope.


In addition, Canadian pharmacies also provide a range of other services to patients. Here are five key services Pharmacies provide to Canadians.

  1. Medication management: Pharmacists are trained to provide comprehensive medication management services, including medication reviews, dose adjustments, and drug interactions monitoring. They help patients understand how to take medication safely, and advise on any side effects or concerns.

  2. Immunizations: Pharmacists in Canada are authorized to administer a range of vaccinations, including flu shots, shingles, and travel vaccines. Many pharmacies also offer walk-in clinics for immunizations and were instrumental in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccines.

  3. Health education: Pharmacists are knowledgeable about a wide range of health topics, and can provide advice and education on issues such as chronic disease, smoking cessation, colds, allergies, and pain relief.

  4. Prescription dispensing: As licensed healthcare professionals, pharmacists in Canada are responsible for dispensing prescription medications safely and accurately.

  5. Chronic disease management: Many Canadians live with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure. Pharmacists can work with patients and their healthcare team to help manage these conditions, through medication management, lifestyle advice, and ongoing monitoring.


Overall, Canadian pharmacies play a crucial role in the healthcare system by providing a variety of services and being accessible to patients helping to improve their overall health and well-being. Staffing platforms like Relief Buddy are here to assist and make your workday easier by helping to fill staffing gaps that occur as a result of the expanded scope.