by Morinville News Staff
Alberta has followed New Brunswick to become the second province to cover the costs of the medical abortion drug, Mifegymiso.
Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health, announced Monday that Mifegymiso is now available to all women in the province at no cost to them.
Mifegymiso may be used to terminate a pregnancy of up to 49 days; however, the manufacturer is currently seeking an extension of the drug’s approved use to include medically terminating a pregnancy of up to 63 days.
“Women’s reproductive options should not be determined by their income or where they live,” Hoffman said in a news release. “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.”
The drug was approved by Health Canada in July 2015 and became available in Canada in January of 2017 at a cost of approximately $300.
Celia Posyniak, executive director, Kensington Clinic, said Mifegymiso has been the “gold standard” for medical abortion care around the world for almost 30 years.
“Kensington Clinic has been offering Mifegymiso since January 2017 and has found it to be safe and effective,” Posyniak said. “Most importantly, it will ensure women truly have reproductive choice by improving access across Alberta.”
Under Health Canada approval, physicians should complete a training program before prescribing Mifegymiso. Any pharmacist can then dispense it. Before taking the drug, women must undergo an ultrasound to rule out potential health risks and to determine the age of gestation.