Health Care Provider Access to Drug and Pharmacy Service Information
Questions and Answers
What information is being shared with my health care providers?
The ministry is providing some of your health information to health care providers for their use in providing health care to you. This information relates to:
- publicly funded drugs,
- monitored drugs (narcotics and controlled substances), and
- pharmacy services, such as flu vaccinations.
Specifically, health care providers will be able to access information about:
- publicly funded drugs dispensed in Ontario and paid for by the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program and any other public drug programs (e.g. Special Drugs Program), including monitored drugs covered by these programs,
- drugs dispensed in Ontario to households pending eligibility with the Trillium Drug Program,
- monitored drugs dispensed in Ontario paid for by private insurance or cash, and
- pharmacy services provided by a pharmacist in Ontario paid for by the ministry, including:
- MedsCheck Program medication reviews
- Pharmacist administration of vaccines
- ColonCancerCheck Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) kits for colorectal cancer screening
- Pharmacy Smoking Cessation Program services
- Naloxone kits provided for harm reduction through the Ontario Naloxone Program for Pharmacies
- Medications provided for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)
What do health care providers use my information for?
Health care providers use your drug and pharmacy service information to see what drugs have been dispensed to you and what pharmacy services have been provided to you in order to:
- identify the best possible treatment options,
- prevent harmful drug reactions, and
- improve the health care you receive.
Can I find out who has accessed my information?
To get a list of health care providers who have accessed your information, you may contact ServiceOntario INFOline at 1-800-291-1405 (TTY 1-800-387-5559).
Can I prevent my information from being shared with health care providers?
If you do not want health care providers to access your information for the purpose of providing health care to you, you may block their access. This can be done by submitting a Blocking Access to Your Drug and Pharmacy Service Information form to the ministry.
The ministry encourages you to talk to a health care provider about the benefits of allowing health care providers to access your information and the potential health risks of blocking access.
Importantly, even if you block access, health care providers cannot be prevented from accessing information about monitored drugs in two particular circumstances:
- If the health care provider has actually prescribed or dispensed a monitored drug to you, or
- If the health care provider is deciding whether to prescribe or dispense a monitored drug to you.
For more information, please see “Public Notice Regarding the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s (‘ministry’) Collection, Use and Disclosure of Information under the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 2010”.
How do I unblock access to my information?
If you block access to your information and then change your mind, you may submit an
Unblocking Access to Your Drug and Pharmacy Service Information form to the ministry.
You may also temporarily unblock access while receiving care from a health care provider by providing your permission in writing.
Can I get a copy of the information that health care providers have access to?
Yes. Everyone has a right to access records of their personal health information, with certain limited exceptions. To request a copy of your records, you may contact ServiceOntario INFOline at 1-800-291-1405 (TTY 1-800-387-5559).
Can health care providers update my information?
No. Health care providers can only view and print your information. They cannot update or modify it.
If I stop taking a drug, will this be reflected in my information?
The information may not reflect changes in your prescription or whether you are following the drug treatment as prescribed. You should let your health care provider know about changes in your medication.
What if my information is incorrect?
If your information is incorrect, you should contact ServiceOntario INFOline at 1-800-291-1405 (TTY 1-800-387-5559).
If I block access, will I still be eligible for publicly-funded drug programs and pharmacy services?
Yes. Your decision to block access will have no effect on your eligibility to receive publicly funded drugs and pharmacy services.
How will I know that the ministry has blocked or unblocked my information?
You will receive a letter confirming that your instructions have been processed.
What laws allow the ministry to give health care providers access to my information?
Allowing health care providers to access information about publicly funded drugs, monitored drugs or pharmacy services is authorized under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) and the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 2010 (NSAA).
Does the ministry need my permission to make my information available to health care providers?
Under PHIPA, the ministry may rely on your implied permission to allow health care providers access to your information for their use in providing health care to you.
Unless you notify the ministry in writing about your decision to block access, the ministry may allow a health care provider to access your information based on implied permission.