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Province to cover cost of abortion drug


The provincial government will soon be providing universal, no-cost coverage for the drug Mifegymiso.

Mifegymiso, an alternative to surgical abortion, is a combination of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. It can be used to terminate pregnancies at an early stage – up to nine weeks from the start of the last menstrual period.

Universal, no-cost coverage will commence Jan. 15, 2018. Since July 11, 2017, PharmaCare has been covering Mifegymiso, subject to the rules of a person’s PharmaCare plan. Patients under the Fair PharmaCare plan may face an out-of-pocket expense. Currently, the out-of-pocket cost for Mifegymiso for individuals without PharmaCare coverage is approximately $300.

Removing the cost barrier helps ensure that individuals can access this safe, legal and available option if they choose.

In April 2017, the common drug review recommended Mifegymiso, also known as RU-486, for public coverage.

Pharmacists are able to dispense Mifegymiso to patients with a valid prescription. To obtain a prescription, patients must visit a physician or nurse practitioner for an ultrasound to confirm that they do not have an ectopic pregnancy, which is when the pregnancy occurs outside of the uterus. Health-care professionals who are going to prescribe or dispense Mifegymiso are encouraged to complete an education program.

Mifegymiso will be available at all participating pharmacies throughout B.C.  All pharmacies will be able to order the drug as needed, which could take up to two business days to receive. Stock of Mifegymiso will be available at pharmacies that are rural, remote or have previously dispensed high volumes of the medication.

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