Health Reproductive Rights

Birth Control Delivery Startups Threatened by CVS Proposal to Cut Reimbursement Rates

Birth control mail order services are in danger after CVS indicated it would cut reimbursement rates for home delivery, putting members in jeopardy of losing access to their birth control due to rising costs.

#CVSDeniesCare began trending on Twitter Thursday after birth control mail order service Pill Club posted a public plea to the pharmacy giant asking them not to change its pricing structure.

NARAL president Ilyse Hogue tweeted “Women need birth control delivered for many reasons–physical challenges getting to the pharmacy, living in very rural areas, simple privacy concerns, or something else-it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that they should not be financially punished by CVS.”

Tens of thousands of women rely on Pill Club for access to birth control, with 55% reporting they will stop using contraception if they lose access through home delivery and 70% of their members experiencing difficulty obtaining birth control from other sources. Access to birth control has already come under fire from the Trump administration, and many on social media have pointed out the connection between CVS board members and conservative lawmakers like Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, and Marsha Blackburn.

“If we cannot convince CVS to change course in the next few weeks, we will have no choice but to stop serving people with CVS Caremark pharmacy benefits. The reality is that we would be out of business if every pharmacy manager did what CVS is doing. And thousands of women would be without the birth control they need,” Pill Club wrote online.

Arizona Congressional candidate Eva Putzova took to Twitter to say “CVS is blocking access to birth control for disabled, rural, and other women who rely on mail order services. Unsurprisingly, 12 of their 16 board of directors are men. This is incredibly dangerous, restrictive, and disappointing.”

Pill Club is a startup similar to Nurx and Hers which provide easy access to birth control through online prescriptions and home delivery. Members receive prescriptions via a virtual visit with the company’s online physicians, after which the birth control is mailed directly to members. These services provide vital access to contraception for women who face challenges getting to a pharmacy.

Sources: Twitter 8/15/19; The Hill 8/15/19; Business Insider 8/15/19; Feminist Newswire 10/6/17; The Pill Club 8/15/19

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