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.
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.
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“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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.