The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) welcomed today’s announcement that the Government of Alberta is providing coverage for Mifegymiso, a drug that provides a non-surgical option for early abortion.
“Providing Mifegymiso at no cost to women throughout Alberta provides access to an important reproductive health option,” says CARNA president Jerry Macdonald. “Initially, the drug will only be available through physicians which limits access for women whose primary care provider is a nurse practitioner or who live in rural and remote areas of the province. The nursing profession and its regulators are seeking clarification from Health Canada related to the absence of nurse practitioners in the existing federal framework.”
Health Canada has outlined that Mifegymiso can only be prescribed by a physician based on information initially provided by the manufacturer. Health Canada is currently reviewing an application from the company with additional evidence to amend when the drug can be administered and who can dispense it.
“We expect that changes at the national level will be reflected provincially to expand access through nurse practitioners,” says CARNA CEO Joy Peacock. “Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have additional education and can diagnose and treat illnesses autonomously and also prescribe medication, among other responsibilities. Prescribing Mifegymiso is well within their scope of practice in Alberta.”
CARNA is the regulatory college and professional association for Alberta's more than 37,000 registered nurses including nurses in direct care, education, research and administration as well as nurse practitioners.