Published Thursday, June 11, 2020 8:39PM EDT
The restriction was put in place after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March in order to ensure pharmacists do not run out of medications.
The emergency order caused concerns for seniors and those with disabilities who had to visit the pharmacy more often to get refils and had to pay more in dispensing fees.
However, the Ontario Pharmacists Association says they stand by their policy because pharmacists were experiencing supply chain issues in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic after individuals tried to stock up on their medications and hospitals were filing more orders.
The 30-day prescription limit was expected to be lifted in July, but on Thursday evening, the Progressive Conservative government announced in a news release that as of June 15, Ontarians will be able to fill up to 100 days’ worth of medications from their pharmacy.
"The restriction on the supply of medications was critical to prevent drug shortages due to increased demand and stockpiling at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak," Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, said in a statement.
"With the supply of medications stabilizing, people can safely go back to getting their regular prescriptions filled. This will be much more convenient for people, especially for our seniors and vulnerable citizens."
At the same time, the government is urging restraint and asking residents to only buy medications they need “in reasonable quantities.”
“This will help ensure that everyone can get their prescriptions filled as we continue to try to stop the spread of COVID-19. The province will continue to monitor the situation to ensure there are no disruptions to the drug supply chain in the future,” the government said.
The news comes hours before some regions in Ontario enter the next stage of reopening the economy.
With files from the Canadian Press