A medical abortion drug, Mifegymiso, is now available to all women in the province at no cost to them. Alberta is the second province in Canada to introduce universal coverage for Mifegymiso.
“Women’s reproductive options should not be determined by their income or where they live. For far too long, women in rural communities have had to travel to major urban centres to receive a surgical abortion. By providing universal coverage for Mifegymiso, we’re supporting greater choice for women when it comes to their reproductive health.”
Mifegymiso may be used to terminate a pregnancy of up to 49 days. The manufacturer is currently seeking an extension of the drug’s approved use to include medically terminating a pregnancy of up to 63 days. Before taking the drug, women must undergo an ultrasound to rule out potential health risks and to determine the age of gestation.
“This medication has been the gold standard for medical abortion care around the world for almost 30 years and we are grateful it is now available to women here. Kensington Clinic has been offering Mifegymiso since January 2017 and has found it to be safe and effective. Most importantly, it will ensure women truly have reproductive choice by improving access across Alberta.”
“Alberta has shown exemplary leadership in implementing a program that recognizes the incredible potential for Mifegymiso to address ongoing barriers and increase health equality. They have demonstrated that cost coverage is both necessary and possible. That is why we expect all provincial and territorial governments to commit to cost coverage programs of at least the same calibre as Alberta’s before the health ministers’ meeting in the fall of 2017.”
Health Canada approved Mifegymiso in July 2015. It first became available in Canada in January 2017 at a cost of approximately $300. It was recommended for public drug plan coverage by the Common Drug Review in spring of this year. Under Health Canada approval, physicians should complete a training program before prescribing Mifegymiso. Any pharmacist can then dispense it.