Primary care provision of mifepristone, particularly in rural and remote communities and among disadvantaged populations, carries the potential to address current disparities and health access inequity. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are trusted health professionals providing high quality primary-care services, particularly in rural and remote locations serving disadvantaged populations throughout Canada. However, although international evidence universally supports the safety and acceptability of NP provision of mifepristone , Health Canada's approval specifies physician-only prescribing and dispensing. Despite this approval, Provincial nursing practice regulators still have the authority to specify scope of practice for their registrants, but many are hesitant to oppose Health Canada’s current regulation.
In recognition to the important role other health care practitioners, like Nurse Practitioners, can play in improving access to Mifegymiso in Canada, some professional associations have issued statements in support.
The Canadian Nurses Association has publicly stated their opinion on Nurse Practitioners prescribing of 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 NPs to prescribe Mifegymiso®. The college has stated those NPs with the knowledge, skill and judgment to prescribe Mifegymiso® and who can manage all possible outcomes are legally authorized to prescribe it. Other provinces like Alberta, are waiting for Health Canada to clarify who qualifies as 'prescriber', when it can administered and who can dispense it.
Action Canada encourages Health Canada to amend their approval to change the language from 'physicians' to 'prescribers'.