Democrats tell Walmart, Costco, Albertsons, Kroger to sell mifepristone

In this 2018 photo, mifepristone and misoprostol pills are offered for medical abortion at a Carafem clinic in Skokie, Illinois.

Erin Hawley | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

Senate Democrats call walmart, costco, Albertson and hook up Sell ​​the prescription abortion drug mifepristone and make it clear to customers how to get it at their pharmacy.

The companies have not publicly stated whether they plan to sell mifepristone in their pharmacies. The Food and Drug Administration in January allowed retail pharmacies to sell abortion pills as long as they are certified under a federal program that monitors how the drugs are dispensed.

Seventeen senators told Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, Costco CEO Craig Jelinek, Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran and Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen that they were disappointed that the companies had not publicly said whether they would sell mifepristone. In a letter dated Monday but released to the public Tuesday, they asked the CEO to respond by March 21 on whether they plan to get FDA clearance to distribute the drug.

strong access

“We urge you to pursue policies that provide, wherever possible, the full range of essential health care they need, including mifepristone, and communicate clearly to your clients how they can access this care,” the senators wrote to the CEO. officers. The group of lawmakers was led by Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

The abortion pill has been at the center of the legal battle over abortion following the Supreme Court decision last June to overturn Roe v. Wade. Major U.S. retailers have been drawn into a deep national divide over abortion as they weigh whether to sell mifepristone.

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Twelve states have outlawed abortion, and several others have restricted mifepristone more strictly than federal regulations, creating a patchwork legal environment in which pro-choice and pro-choice opponents are arguing over the authority of the FDA or the supremacy of state law.

Mifepristone, used in combination with another drug called misoprostol, is the most common method of pregnancy termination in the United States, accounting for about half of all miscarriages.

walgreens under fire

walgreens, CV and ceremony aid said in January they planned to get Approved by FDA Mifepristone is sold in states where it is legal. Republican attorneys general in 21 states Warn Walgreens and CVS in early February Do not mail mifepristone in their state.

Walgreens came under fire after telling the Republican attorney general it would not sell mifepristone in their state.The pharmacy’s response sparked controversy because the company also didn’t sell the drug in states like kansas, abortion is protected by the state constitution. In November, a state court struck down a law requiring patients to take mifepristone in the same room as their doctors.

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The senator accused Walgreens CEO Roz Brewer of bowing to pressure from the attorney general and accused the company of creating confusion by not selling mifepristone in some states where abortion is still legal.

“While we are well aware that you have received threatening letters regarding the distribution of mifepristone in certain states, the response to these pressures is unacceptable and appears to give in to these threats – neglecting to ensure that patients have access to this The urgent need for basic health care whenever possible,” the senators wrote.

The senators also asked CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch and Rite Aid CEO Elizabeth Burr to oppose following Walgreens’ lead, urging them to “thoroughly evaluate each state’s laws and ensure that your policies provide the best possible A strong legal approach.”

california cancels contract

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said last week that the state will no longer do business with Walgreens over its stance on mifepristone. The state canceled the renewal of a $54 million contract for specialty prescription drugs used primarily by the state prison system.

Walgreens spokesman Fraser Engerman said the company was deeply disappointed by Newsom’s decision and plans to sell mifepristone wherever it is legal, including in California.

“Walgreens faced the same situation as all retail pharmacies, and no other retail pharmacy said they would handle the situation differently, so it’s not clear where this contract will now shift,” Engman said.

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