Skip to content

Some Penticton pharmacies gearing up to start handling minor ailments

Pharmacists will be able to prescribe some medicines starting June 1
Prescription drugs are seen on shelves at a pharmacy in Montreal, Thursday, March 11, 2021. Pharmacists will be able to start assessing and writing prescriptions for minor ailments in B.C. starting on June 1. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)

Pharmacists across B.C. and in Penticton are preparing for the second phase of expanded prescription powers to start June 1.

The provincial government initially expanded the ability for pharmacists to renew prescriptions and administer more vaccines.

“Now starting in June, we’ll be able to prescribe for minor ailments,” said Dr. Brayden Zaharia, a pharmacist a Well Pharmacy in Penticton. “That means that we’ll be able to actually write prescriptions, which previously we would have had to send people to the doctor for.”

The list of ailments is limited, but includes ailments such as acne, allergies, eye infections, skin conditions, heartburn, headaches, shingles, ulcers, mouth sores and nicotine replacement.

“We’re trained in school nowadays to do the assessments anyways, looking for red flags, signs where things like a splitting headache could be something more serious like a stroke, and we refer them on to a higher level of care,” said Zaharia.

The goal, which is something that pharmacists like Zaharia support, is shifting away some of the lesser issues from general practitioners and walk-in clinics to allow them to have more time for patients with more complex or critical issues.

Things like prescriptions for opiates to deal with pain and other issues will remain in the hands of doctors to prescribe.

While the legislation to allow pharmacists to issue prescriptions takes effect June 1, not every pharmacy will be rolling it out immediately, if at all, and how it will work and look will be different from pharmacy to pharmacy.

Some pharmacies, like Well Pharmacy, will be rolling out an online booking system for people who need assessments.

Other pharmacies may not have enough staff to handle assessments for prescriptions, and people should ask their pharmacist if they feel comfortable with issuing prescriptions and if they are planning to do so.

READ MORE: B.C. pharmacists welcome new prescription powers, but eye administrative burden

To report a typo, email:


Don’t miss a single story and get them delivered directly to your inbox. Sign up today for the Penticton Western News Newsletter.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
Read more