This restriction was lifted in May 2017 when the manufacturer and Health Canada made a joint announcement that clarified that training was no longer mandatory for pharmacists to order and stock Mifegymiso and for physician to prescribe the abortion pill. The announcement also communicated that pharmacists are under no obligation to monitor physicians' training or physician competence to prescribe Mifegymiso. Though Action Canada does encourage Health Canada to be clearer in their removal of these restrictions, that announcement addressed many of the concerns surrounding the earlier restrictions relating to mandatory trainings. (See below)
Pharmacists and Physicians who are not currently abortion providers who wish to prescribe and/or dispense Mifegymiso have been required to take a 6-hour training (3 hours for physicians who are currently providers). No other similar drug requires this amount of training. Since physicians might be prevented from stocking the drug or without the required infrastructure to stock Mifegymiso themselves, it was of great concern that this requirement made it harder for pharmacists and pharmacy chains to stock Mifegymiso which limits the availability of the drug for prescribers.
Following that training, prescribers and pharmacies are added to a confidential directory of registered prescribers and dispensers. This confidential directory can undermine effective referrals as prescribers may be unable to find a dispensing pharmacy in their region, as well as it creates a situation where pharmacists need to verify that physicians are registered to prescribe Mifegymiso.
To remedy this gap in information, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights hosts a public directory of providers that have consented to have their information made public to assist both prescribers and the public to have access to Mifegymiso. It is being continually updated as more providers consent to have their information posted on the directory.