March 1, 2024

Mifepristone Oral Pill

CVS and Walgreens will begin dispensing the abortion pill mifepristone this March, the companies confirmed to TIME. 

The pharmacies received a certification to offer mifepristone—which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to terminate a pregnancy through 10 weeks of gestation, and is often used with misoprostol—to customers with a prescription in compliance with federal and state laws. The news was first reported by the New York Times

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Walgreens said that it will start to dispense mifepristone within a week at select locations in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, and Illinois. CVS will roll out the pill in Massachusetts and Rhode Island “in the weeks ahead,” CVS spokeswoman Amy Thibault told TIME over email. 

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

CVS said that they plan to “expand to more states, “where allowed by law, on a rolling basis.”  Walgreens spokesperson Marty Maloney also confirmed to TIME over email the company’s plan to offer mifepristone in a “phased rollout” to ensure the “quality, safety, and privacy for our patients, providers, and team members.”

The future of mifepristone lies in the Supreme Court, which will hear a case about restrictions on its use this spring. The Biden Administration is hoping the court overturns an appellate ruling that would limit access to the pill by mail, among other disputes. CVS and Walgreens customers will not be able to receive the pill by mail, spokespeople from the two companies confirmed to TIME.
Since before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, abortion pills have been the most common way to end a pregnancy.


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