Sask. adding 'abortion pill' Mifegymiso to provincial drug plan effective Sept. 5

Sask. adding 'abortion pill' Mifegymiso to provincial drug plan effective Sept. 5

- in Saskatoon
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Mifegymiso, an “abortion pill” that can be administered up to 49 days into a pregnancy, will be partially covered by the Saskatchewan Drug Plan effective Sept. 5.

The provincial government made the announcement on Thursday.

The same coverage as other drugs on the provincial formulary will be provided, the province said in a news release. The cost to a patient will vary by their coverage and eligibility through other benefit programs.

Low-income patients who are eligible for Supplementary Health Benefits will either pay $2, or be able to get the pill free of charge.

Women who require immediate treatment but are are unable to cover the cost may ask their pharmacist to access Emergency Assistance through the Saskatchewan Drug Plan for a reduced co-payment.

Earlier this month, the province told CBC News it had been reviewing whether the drug, which was approved by Health Canada in 2015, should be included under the provincial drug benefit plan.

The Alberta government recently announced universal coverage had been extended to Mifegymiso.

Health Canada requires whoever prescribes the drug be trained in its administration before prescribing Mifegymiso. Health Canada’s guidelines advise that physicians who prescribe the pill be the ones who dispense or hand the box directly to the woman, citing patient safety. Pharmacists in Saskatchewan can distribute the pill and offer guidance on how to take it. 

Patients should contact their doctor for more information on how to access Mifegymiso treatment.

New Brunswick became the first province in Canada to provide universal access to the drug, with the government of Quebec pledging to do the same and Ontario’s coverage of the medication beginning earlier this month. 

Recently, the pill was also made available free of charge to women in Manitoba who access it from approved centres.

Mifegymiso is two-drug combination of mifepristone and misoprostol.

Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone from preparing a woman’s uterine lining for pregnancy, then misoprostol induces contractions. A patient takes the mifepristone tablet, then takes the misoprostol tablets 24-48 hours after taking the first tablet.

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