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CVS and Walgreens to sell abortion pills .png Getty Images

CVS and Walgreens to sell abortion pills

Starting in March, both pharmacy chains will dispense mifepristone

CVS and Walgreens, the two largest U.S. pharmacy chains, will start dispensing the abortion pill mifepristone this month, a step that received praise from President Joe Biden. 

Officials at CVS and Walgreens told Supermarket News Wednesday that they had received certification to dispense mifepristone under guidelines that the Food and Drug Administration issued last year. 

The chains said they plan to make the medication available at stores in a few states initially. Consumers looking to receive the pill via mail from the pharmacies will have to wait — currently, the pill is only available in-store for both retailers. 

“We’ve received certification to dispense mifepristone at CVS Pharmacy and plan to fill prescriptions for this medication in states where legally permissible,” said Matt Blanchette, senior manager, Retail Communications, CVS Pharmacy. “We’re working with manufacturers and suppliers to secure the medication and are not yet dispensing it in any of our pharmacies.”

“Walgreens has completed the FDA certification process to dispense mifepristone and expects to begin dispensing within a week, consistent with federal and state laws,” Walgreens said in a statement. “We are beginning a phased rollout in select locations to allow us to ensure quality, safety, and privacy for our patients, providers, and team members.”

Both chains confirmed they will eventually expand to all other states where abortion is legal and where pharmacies are legally able to dispense abortion pills — about half of the states, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, California, and Illinois. 

President Biden said in a statement last week that the pill’s availability in pharmacies was “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.”

“I encourage all pharmacies that want to pursue this option to seek certification,” he added.

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