CVS, Rite Aid limits purchases of emergency contraceptives

Some national pharmacy chains — including CVS and Rite Aid — are limiting the number of emergency contraceptive pills customers can buy after demand for the drug surged in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion.


what you need to know

  • Major drugstore chains CVS and Rite Aid are temporarily limiting purchases of so-called “morning after pills” to three boxes per transaction as demand surges
  • Emergency contraception, commonly known as the morning-after pill, works by delaying or preventing ovulation and is intended as a backup method of birth control; These pills are different from abortion pills, which are used to terminate an existing pregnancy
  • “To ensure equal access and consistent supply on store shelves, we have implemented a temporary purchase limit of three for these products,” CVS told CNN; Rite Aid implemented a similar limitation
  • However, Walgreens said it had “no plans at this time” to restrict sales of morning-after pills; Plan B pills are currently sold out on their website but are available in some stores

CVS announced it would temporarily limit purchases of so-called “morning after pills” to three boxes per transaction to avoid a shortage.

That decision comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision that established abortion as a constitutional right and remanded the issue of whether to allow or restrict the procedure to the individual states becomes.

Emergency contraception, commonly known as the morning-after pill, works by delaying or preventing ovulation and is intended as a backup method of birth control. These pills are different from abortion pills, which are used to terminate an existing pregnancy.

In a statement to CNN, CVS said it has a “large stockpile” of Plan B and Aftera — two products that can be ingested to prevent pregnancy.

Despite this, CVS told the outlet that we have implemented a temporary purchase limit of three on these products to “ensure fair access and consistent supply on store shelves.”

The pharmacy chain Rite Aid also announced that it would limit the purchase of Plan B and Option 2 branded pills. According to Rite Aid’s website, customers are limited to three pills per order.

“Due to increased demand, we are currently limiting purchases of Plan B contraceptive pills to three per customer,” a company spokesman told CNN.

However, Walgreens said it had “no plans at this time” to restrict tablet sales thereafter. Plan B pills are currently sold out on their website but may be available in some stores.

Sales of emergency contraceptives have reportedly increased sharply since the Supreme Court decision last week, although the Supreme Court decision does not cover these drugs.

Stix, a reproductive health company, reported that sales of its morning-after pill rose more than 600 percent in the 24 hours after the Supreme Court’s announcement, according to the New York Times.

Still, some experts have warned that efforts could be made to limit access to contraception.

In a unanimous opinion on last week’s ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas specifically asked the court to “reconsider” a number of landmark decisions, including Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965, which protected the right to marital privacy from state restrictions on contraception.

“In future cases we should consider all substantive precedents of this court, including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell,” wrote Thomas Fehler’, noted in those precedents.

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