Popular Pharmacies To Begin Dispensing Abortion Pill

By Jason Hall

March 3, 2024

UltraViolet Calls On Pharmacists To Reaffirm That Mifepristone, A Medication Abortion Drug, Is Safe, Effective And Essential
Photo: Getty Images

Two of the United States' most popular pharmacies will soon be dispensing one of the two drugs used for medication abortions.

CVS and Walgreens announced their plans to dispense mifepristone in states where abortions are permitted on Friday (March 1), having received certification to do so following a rule change finalized by the Food and Drug Administration in January 2023, NBC News reports. The FDA made the rule change to allow pharmacies to dispense abortion pills to patients in-person or via mail -- though neither CVS nor Walgreens announced plans for the latter -- in an effort to make them more accessible.

Abortion pills were previously limited to being picked up by patients at a clinic, medical office or hospital prior to the FDA's rule change in January 2023. Misoprostol is the only other current pill used for medication abortions as of March 2024.

Pharmacies are still required to meet certain requirements and complete forms for certification in order to sell mifepristone in adherence with FDA policy, which both CVS and Walgreens confirmed had been completed prior to their announcements. Walgreens plans to begin dispensing mifepristone in select locations in California, Illinois, Massachsuetts, New York and Pennsylvania within a week from its announcement, confirming it is "beginning a phased rollout in select locations to allow us to ensure quality, safety, and privacy for our patients, providers, and team members" in a statement obtained by NBC News.

CVS said it was “working with manufacturers and suppliers to secure the medication and are not yet dispensing it” at its nationwide pharmacies in its statement obtained by NBC News.

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