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B.C. women to get free access to abortion drug Mifegymiso

Click to play video: 'The B.C. government to fund so-called ‘abortion pill’' The B.C. government to fund so-called ‘abortion pill’
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The B.C. government is moving to provide full, universal coverage to women who want access to a medical abortion drug in the province.

Mifegymiso, also known as RU-486, has been partially covered through PharmaCare since July 11, 2017.

However, some users would have had to cover an out-of-pocket cost of about $300 for the drug.

READ MORE: Health Canada to allow abortion pill Mifegymiso up to 9 weeks into pregnancy

Last April, B.C.’s Common Drug Review recommended Mifegymiso for full coverage, which the province says will now be implemented as of Jan. 15.

WATCH: Will B.C. pharmacist distribute new abortion drug? (Oct. 2016)

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Will B.C. pharmacist distribute new abortion drug? – Oct 17, 2016

“Removing the cost barrier helps ensure that individuals can access this safe, legal and available option if they choose,” the Ministry of Health said in a media release.

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Mifegymiso is a combination of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, and can be used to terminate early stage pregnancies, up to nine weeks from a woman’s last menstrual period.

From 2016: Former Health Minister Philpott on abortion pill Mifegymiso

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Health Minister Philpott on abortion pill Mifegymiso – Apr 5, 2016

Access to the drug will still require a person to visit a doctor or nurse practitioner for an ultrasound to ensure they don’t have an ectopic pregnancy where an embryo attaches outside the uterus.

READ MORE: B.C. doctors oppose Health Canada over dispensing abortion pill

Health practitioners can then provide a prescription, which can be used at any pharmacy. However, some pharmacies that do not stock the drug may take two business days to bring it in.

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The province says Mifegymiso will also be kept in stock at pharmacies that are rural, remote or have previously dispensed the drug in high volumes.

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