The Politics of Mifegymiso in Canada: Key Dates and Milestones

  • July 2015: Health Canada approves the abortion pill Mifegymiso, the Canadian brand name for the combination of Mifepristone and Misoprostol.
  • January 2017: Mifegymiso roll-out begins.
  • April 2017: the CADTH Canadian Drug Expert Committee makes its final recommendation on the newly approved abortion pill. The expert committee recommends provincial and territorial cost reimbursement of Mifegymiso. This is an important step to achieve cost coverage for provinces and territories who can now start negotiating agreements with the manufacturer. Considering the high cost of the medication and its importance, universal cost coverage is an important goal to reach.
  • Spring 2017: Mifegymiso distributor Celopharma submits a Supplemental New Drug Submission (SNDS) to have several of the Health Canada restrictions reviewed. A decision is anticipated in November of 2017.
  • Spring 2017: In quick succession, New Brunswick, Alberta and Ontario pledge universal coverage of Mifegymiso for all persons covered under provincial health care. Federal patients covered by the Non-Insured Health Benefits also saw the drug added to the program’s formulary.
  • May 2017: Health Canada announces the easing of some of its restrictions. Pharmacists are no longer required to take the SOGC training before dispensing Mifegymiso and the distribution systems are clearly under the jurisdiction of each provincial professional bodies representing physicians and pharmacists. By the fall, five provincial governing bodies of pharmacist professionals have produced guidelines in support of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians' involvement in dispensing directly to patients (British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Saskatchewan).
  • July 2017: Quebec announces its intention to offer universal coverage in the coming fall.
  • August 2017: The Canadian Nurses Association share their position on Nurse Practitioners prescribing Mifegymiso and what this could mean for individual access across Canada. The College of Nurses of Ontario is the first nursing governing body to support their Nurse Practitioners to prescribe Mifegymiso. Certain Nurse Practitioners in Ontario can now prescribe Mifegymiso. Similarly, the College of Nurses of the Yukon supports independent Mifegymiso prescribing by Nurse Practitioners.
  • August 2017: Manitoba residents can access Mifegymiso free of charge in a few limited sites where surgical abortions are already being offered. The province does not offer universal cost coverage.
  • Summer 2017: New Brunswick, Alberta and Ontario launch their coverage programs, patients can access the medication free of charge.
  • Summer 2017: British Columbia quietly adds Mifegymiso to the formulary. The Province does not cover universal cost coverage.
  • Summer 2017: The Interim Federal Health Program adds Mifegymiso to their Prescription drug coverage.
  • September 2017: Nova Scotia announces its intention to offer universal coverage in the coming fall.
  • September 2017: The Saskatchewan Prescription Drug Plan (the provincial formulary) starts providing coverage for the drug on September 5th, 2015 but does not offer universal cost coverage.
  • November 2017: Health Canada announces the lifting of all but one of the restrictions included in its original approval of the medication in January 2015.
  • November 2017: Nova Scotia announces the roll-out of its universal cost coverage.
  • December 2017: Quebec launches coverage program.
  • January 2018: Some Quebec providers start providing Mifegymiso, patients can access the medication free of charge.
  • January 2018: BC launches a universal cost coverage program for Mifegymiso.
  • March 2018: National Defense and Canadian Armed Forces adds Mifegymiso to their formulary.
  • April 2018: Correctional Service of Canada adds Mifegymiso to their formulary
  • June 2018: The College des Medecins du Quebec clarifies its position and relaxes their original restrictions.
  • July 2018: Newfoundland announces its Universal Cost coverage program, effective September 1st, 2018.
  • October 2018: Nurse practitioners in Saskatchewan are now able to prescribe Mifegymiso, making it the 8th province where NPs are supported in prescribing Mifegymiso.
  • October 2018: Yukon announces universal cost coverage.
  • November 2018: Northwest Territories announces their intention to offer cost coverage for people who do not have any other forms of insurance.


Posted on 2018-11-05