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Abortion pill to be covered by compulsory health insurance

Women using the abortion pill, Mifegyne, will be able to claim back the cost from their health insurers from next month.

The federal office for social insurance confirmed on Wednesday that it had given the go-ahead for the pill to be included on a list of drugs covered by compulsory health insurance.

A spokesman said Mifegyne provided an alternative to surgery and should be available to all women who wanted or had to have a termination.

The inclusion of Mifegyne on the list comes one year after the drug was authorised for use in Switzerland.

The federal office had refused to make health insurers pay for the pill, arguing that the manufacturer’s price of SFr156 ($88) per packet was too high. It has now reportedly agreed to a price of SFr150.

Mifegyne – also known as RU 486 – is not available over the counter, and has to be administered by a doctor.

The drug has to be taken within the first 49 days of a pregnancy, which limits its use.

It was used in around 10 per cent of the 12,000 terminations carried out in Switzerland last year. Mifegyne is authorised for use in most European countries.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR