After Walgreens announced that it would stop offering abortion medications in states where Republican attorneys general have threatened legal action, Governor Kathy Hochul and state Attorney General Tish James are putting pressure on three of the country’s largest pharmacy chains to dispense abortion medications in New York and across the United States. This comes after Walgreens announced that it would stop offering the drugs in states where Republican attorneys general have threatened legal action.
Hochul and James asked the CEOs of Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS to confirm in writing that the chains will offer the abortion drug mifepristone at their New York pharmacies and through the mail to patients across the state who have a doctor’s prescription. Their request was made in a letter that was sent out on Thursday. Hochul and James are both Democrats.
“Even as access to this medication is under threat elsewhere for political reasons, we remind you that New York’s law is simple,” Hochul and James wrote. “Abortion is legal and protected as a fundamental right under state law, and there are no legal barriers to dispensing mifepristone in New York pharmacies.”
Last week, Walgreens, the nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain and owner of New York-based Duane Reade, confirmed that it would not dispense abortion pills either by mail or at brick-and-mortar locations in several states where they remain legal. Walgreens is the owner of Duane Reade, which is the largest pharmacy chain in New York.
The business made the announcement after being threatened with legal action by nearly two dozen Republican state attorneys general in the event that it started providing the medicines, which have become the most common method of terminating a pregnancy in the United States.
“We urge you not to allow these tactics to intimidate you, and to commit to making this critical medication available as widely as possible, based on a fair and unbiased interpretation of state and federal law,” Hochul and James wrote in their letter to the pharmacy executives.
In response to the decision made by the firm, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, said on Wednesday that the state would not renew a deal with Walgreens worth $54 million.
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According to an examination of the data kept by the office of the state comptroller in New York, it would appear that the state of New York does not have any active contracts with Walgreens.
Following the publication of new data on the medications’ safety and efficacy, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared in January that it would enable retail pharmacies to dispense the abortion pill mifepristone to pregnant persons who had a prescription for the medication. Prior to that time, patients were required to obtain the drug directly from a physician.
According to the new regulation, pharmacists are required to receive certification in order to be able to distribute the medication. Walgreens has stated that it is now working on becoming authorized in select areas, but the business has declined to specify those states. Currently, the pills are not being distributed anywhere.
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