The Saskatchewan Prescription Drug Plan will soon provide coverage for the medical abortion pill, Mifegymiso.
Mifegymiso is the only Health Canada-approved abortion drug. The oral medication can be used to terminate a pregnancy up to 49 days.
“This is an example of a new pharmaceutical that will meet the needs of Saskatchewan residents,” said Mark Wyatt, assistant deputy minister with the Ministry of Health. “It does provide an alternative to a surgical abortion or termination and so I think it is, for some people, a preferable option to having a surgical abortion.”
Patients will pay for the drug based on their individual drug coverage and eligibility through benefit programs. Wyatt said that can range from having the pill fully covered to some patients paying the full price, estimated to be $360.
Wyatt added Mifegymiso also provides another option for those that live further away from urban centres.
“If you’re living in a rural or a remote community and you do have a physician and pharmacy that can both prescribe and dispense the drug, it provides better access for people who may not be in a position to attend Regina, Saskatoon, for example, to deal with the termination of their pregnancy,” he explained.
People can only get Mifegymiso through doctors who’ve been trained to prescribe the drug. Wyatt said at this time, the prescription would be forwarded to a pharmacy then returned to the doctor’s office where patients would be able to take the pill there or at home if they choose. He said there are also possibilities doctors and pharmacies could work together in the future so patients could pick up the prescription directly from a pharmacist.
Already, Wyatt said about 58 health professionals had received that training.
Other provinces offer access to the drug, including Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec.