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Abortion pill prescribed more than 4,000 times in Canada last year

Sep 21 2018

In an article reported in CBC News, according to information provided by Health Canada, doctors issued more than 4,000 prescriptions for the abortion pill in 2017 in the first year it was available in Canada.

Between January 2017, when the drug was first made commercially available in Canada, and February 2018, the Health Department received only one report of an adverse reaction from the drug — heavy bleeding.

Medical abortion was approved for use in Canada in 2015 but Health Canada initially placed a number of restrictions on its use, such as limiting prescriptions to pregnancies no more advanced than seven weeks and requiring prescribing doctors to take a training course.

After those restrictions were lifted in November 2017 because of the high demand in the first year, the numbers of women seeking medical abortion increased dramatically. Health Canada issued a statement saying that "Our government has been very clear when it comes to reproductive health rights for women. We want to make sure all options are available for women. We can see that there's certainly a need when we look at the numbers."

One problem remains - the drug's cost, which averages between $400 and $450 per dose, depending on the province. Right now, six provinces cover the drug through provincial health care plans: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

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