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Walgreens, CVS to offer abortion pills in New York amid expanded access campaign

New York residents will have access to abortion pills at select Walgreens locations, joining CVS Health in a move to distribute the mifepristone abortion pill following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval. This development allows patients with a prescription to obtain the medication without the need to visit a doctor’s office or clinic in person, marking a significant shift in how abortion services are accessed. While CVS’s initial rollout did not include New York, the company anticipates extending its services to additional states.

Walgreens has indicated that certified medical providers can guide patients to specific locations for their prescription pickups, although the pharmacy chain has decided against revealing the exact number of participating sites or their locations to protect pharmacist and patient safety. The abortion pill regimen, which includes mifepristone followed by misoprostol, is approved for terminating pregnancies up to 70 days’ gestation. Walgreens commits to assisting patients in finding an alternate pharmacy if their initial choice is not certified to dispense the medication.

This expansion of access to abortion pills comes as independent pharmacies also show interest in becoming certified to dispense the medication, subject to FDA approval. The move follows the FDA’s recent modification of the mifepristone Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program, which now allows the drug to be dispensed through retail pharmacies, enhancing the availability of abortion services across New York and other states.