Amazon, CVS, Rite Aid Limiting Plan B and Other Contraceptives

A photo of Plan B One-Step

A photo of Plan B One-Step
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Pharmacy chains across the US have started limiting the amount of emergency contraceptive pills customers can buy. It comes to the overthrow of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court.

“Due to increased demand, we are currently limiting the purchase of Plan B contraceptive pills to three per customer,” said a Rite Aid representative. CNN. CVS originally restricted the purchase of Plan B and Aftera across all CVS Pharmacy Stores and its website “to ensure equitable access and consistent supply on store shelves.” Since then, however, CVS has removed their purchase limit as “sales have fallen back to normal levels.”

A survey shows that about one-fourth of American women apparently used emergency contraception at some point in their lives, as reported by NPR. Reproductive health companies and suppliers have seen a marked increase in sales of these pills following the Supreme Court announcement. Stix, a reproductive health brand, reported its morning-after-pill sales rose more than 600 percent in the 24 hours after Roe v. Wade’s overthrow, according to the New York Times. Wisp, an online provider of reproductive and sexual health, found a 3,000% increase in sales of its birth control pills, according to CBS News.

Emergency contraception is a form of birth control that can be used “if you had sex without using birth control or if your birth control method did not work, ”according to the Office of Women’s Health. This is different from the abortion pill as emergency contraceptive pills do not work to stop your pregnancy. The emergency contraceptive pill works by preventing or delaying ovulation, and can less commonly prevent fertilization of the egg by sperm if ovulation has already occurred.

Limits for the pills are not just in place at Rite Aid and CVS. A Walmart spokesman said ABC News that “many of [the company’s] products have online purchase limits in place, ”but did not specify what that means for morning-after pills. Walgreens, however, said he has “no plans at the moment” to place restrictions on the sale of morning-after pills. However, when we confirmed this ourselves by trying to buy Plan B online, we got a pop-up that said “Plan B one-step emergency contraception is not currently available and has been removed from your cart.” Availability may vary in physical stores.

Amazon is the newest to place a limit on the amount of birth control pills. Customers can only buy three units of Plan B on the website. However, other birth control pills listed on the site, such as MyChoice, still allow users to buy a larger quantity.

The list of pharmacies restricting the purchase of the pill may also grow in the future, but we will update that list as pharmacy policies come in.

Update 24/6/2022, 14:55 ET, This post has been updated to include CVS ‘removal of their limit

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