Mifepristone to Be Available at CVS, Walgreens Stores

Biden calls the change a milestone
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2024 5:15 PM CST
CVS, Walgreens Announce Stores to Offer Abortion Pills
Boxes of the drug mifepristone sit on a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 2022.   (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)

The abortion pill mifepristone will become available with a prescription at CVS and Walgreens stores in certain states this month, the companies said Friday. The pharmacy chains, the largest in the nation, have received certification to dispense the medication under FDA guidelines issued last year, the New York Times reports. President Biden on Friday encouraged pharmacies to apply for the certification. The step marks "an important milestone in ensuring access to mifepristone, a drug that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective for more than 20 years," Biden said.

The companies said they'll distribute the pill in accordance with state laws, per the Wall Street Journal. That would mean mifepristone won't be available at stores in states that don't permit abortions to be performed through 10 weeks. The rollout will begin in a few states, the chains said; CVS said sales will begin this month in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Walgreens will start as soon as next week in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, and Illinois. Abortion pills are already available in clinics in those states or in the mail after being prescribed through telemedicine, per the Times.

Katie Daniel, of the anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, called the companies' new policy shameful, saying the Biden administration is trying to turn "every pharmacy and post office in America into an abortion center." Kirsten Moore, of the Expanding Medication Abortion Access Project, praised the decisions. "Today's announcement from CVS and Walgreens shows what we have always known: medication abortion can and should be treated as any other FDA-approved medication," she said. (More mifepristone stories.)

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