The $300 Abortion Drug Coming to Canada Probably Won’t Be Covered By Health Insurance

By Manisha Krishnan
Senior Writer, VICE

September 26, 2016

Pro-choice advocates say the high cost of an abortion drug that likely won't be covered by provincial health care plans will limit abortion access to Canadian women who don't live in major urban centres.

Mifegymiso, hailed as the gold-standard in abortion medication, is a set of two pills that allows women to terminate their pregnancies. It will become available in Canada this year—it's been in the US since 2000—and can be taken within the first 49 days of a pregnancy. But according to a report by the Globe and Mail, the company bringing the drug here, Celopharma, has opted out of an application process that is required for the drug to be covered by the provinces. Known as the Common Drug Review, the application would cost Celopharma $72,000. Not completing the process means Mifegymiso will only be covered by employment and private insurance, or will cost patients $300 out of pocket.

Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, told VICE the decision is "very disappointing."

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