Starting on Monday, January 15, 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 that can be used to terminate pregnancies at an early stage – up to nine weeks from the start of the last menstrual period.
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.
From $300 to Free
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.
In a release, the BC Government said that “removing the cost barrier helps ensure that individuals can access this safe, legal and available option if they choose.”
Pharmacists are able to dispense Mifegymiso to patients with a valid prescription.
Health-care professionals who are going to prescribe or dispense Mifegymiso are encouraged to complete an education program.
No-cost Coverage Follows Health Canada Changes
On November 7, 2017, Health Canada implemented changes regarding the prescribing and dispensing of mifegymiso.
Updates included indicating mifegymiso can be dispensed directly to patients by a pharmacist or a prescribing health professional, and allowing the drug to be prescribed up to nine weeks (63 days) into a pregnancy, rather than the previous limit of seven weeks (49 days).
Previously the product monograph referenced the patient receiving the medication directly from their physician, although pharmacists in BC were able to dispense Mifegymiso directly to the patient, which aligns with provincial legislation, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons professional standard, Sale and Dispensing of Drugs by Registrants.