CPhA welcomes Health Canada move to allow pharmacist dispensing of Mifegymiso, calls for universal coverage
November 7, 2017 (Ottawa): The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) welcomes Health Canada’s move to change the Mifegymiso product monograph to include pharmacist dispensing. Providing women with the option of pharmacist dispensing, in addition to prescriber dispensing, is an important step toward removing the unnecessary barriers women face and improving access across Canada.
“Pharmacists play a key role in the distribution of medications and provision of patient care, and although some provinces did allow pharmacist dispensing of Mifegymiso over the last few months, many did not,” said Christine Hrudka, Vice-Chair, CPhA. “We are pleased that Health Canada has taken this important step to address the patchwork of dispensing rules across Canada.”
CPhA has long called for Health Canada to remove the restrictive dispensing practices and allow pharmacists to dispense Mifegymiso directly to patients. Including community pharmacists in the dispensing and counselling of Mifegymiso will enhance patient access to abortion services, particularly in rural or remote communities where access to physicians is limited.
We also welcome the change in the product monograph to permit the use of Mifegymiso up to 63 days of gestation. This is supported by evidence, consistent with practice in many other jurisdictions across the world, and supports extended access to medical abortion.
While CPhA applauds these changes, women still face barriers to access in terms of cost coverage. Universal coverage of Mifegymiso in Canada is limited and out-of-pocket costs to access the medication are overly restrictive for patients who are not covered by a drug plan. CPhA is calling on governments to provide all women with equitable access to this important health care service through universal coverage of Mifegymiso across Canada.
CPhA looks forward to working with governments, regulators, patient groups and other stakeholders to continue to improve patient access to Mifegymiso across the country.
About the Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians. More information is available at www.pharmacists.ca.