Universal, no-cost coverage for mifegymiso in BC

Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 60, No. 1, January, February 2018, page(s) 58-60 Pulsimeter

Universal, no-cost coverage for the drug mifegymiso (also known as RU-486) commenced on 15 January 2018. Mifegymiso, an alternative to surgical abortion, is a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol. It can be used to terminate pregnancies at an early stage—up to 9 weeks from the start of the last menstrual period.

Since 11 July 2017, Pharmacare has covered 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. The Common Drug Review recommended mifegymiso for public coverage in April 2017.

Pharmacists may dispense mifegymiso to patients with a valid prescription. To obtain a prescription, patients must visit a physician or nurse practitioner for an ultrasound to confirm that they do not have an ectopic pregnancy. Health care professionals who will be prescribing or dispensing mifegymiso are encouraged to complete an education program.

Mifegymiso will be available at all participating pharmacies throughout BC. All pharmacies will be able to order the drug as needed, which could take up to 2 business days to receive. Stock of mifegymiso will be available at pharmacies that are rural or remote, or that have previously dispensed high volumes of the medication.