CVS and Walgreens Set to Dispense Mifepristone: A Game-Changer in Abortion Access

Robin Marty, Licensed under CC BY 2.0 DEED

CVS and Walgreens have received certification from The Food and Drug Administration to fill and dispense prescriptions for the abortion pill, mifepristone.  

Walgreens is set to start filling prescriptions in select stores in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, and Illinois, while CVS will fill prescriptions in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The pharmacies may expand the availability of the pill but for now, Walgreens has stated that they will not provide prescriptions in states where the laws on distribution are unclear. CVS stated that they are monitoring current laws regarding abortion bans and will dispense abortion pills in any state where it becomes legal to do so. 

Both pharmacies are cautious about distribution because, even in states where abortion is legal, there are restrictions on the distribution of mifepristone. Some of the restrictions on mifepristone include barring pharmacists from dispensing the abortion pill and mandating that only doctors, hospitals, or clinics distribute the pill to patients in need.

CVS and Walgreens are two of America’s largest pharmacy networks, so this new expansion into the availability of abortion pills has taken on an unprecedented level of importance. This new development will help make mifepristone more accessible to patients in these states, as doctors can now send prescriptions to the pharmacy, allowing for a quicker pickup time and more options when it comes to early pregnancy termination. 

The expansion comes at a time when the future of mifepristone access is uncertain. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this month over whether the FDA properly approved the drug and if restrictions surrounding the drug should be upheld. Given this ongoing legal battle, this new expansion is even more crucial as it marks the importance of providing effective abortion options in new and accessible ways.

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