Before, women wishing to get contraception had to go to a doctor first, get a written prescription, then take it to a pharmacy. This cuts out a step in an effort to save time and make it easier for women to gain access to birth control.
At first glance, the bitter Twitter battle against CVS over birth control pills this week may have convinced you that the pharmacy giant was blocking access to the contraceptive. But like most Twitter scuffles, it's complicated.
CVS Caremark, a CVS subsidiary that works with pharmaceutical companies to set prescription pricing for customers of CVS and other pharmacies, has reduced how much it'll reimburse retailers that only sell one product. One such online startup, Pill Club, mails women birth control in packages filled with other goodies like stickers that say \"You are magical\" and chocolate. CVS' move means Pill Club will be reimbursed at a lower rate for customers whose insurance is tied to CVS Caremark, making it so the company can no longer afford to service those people.
As a result, the hashtags #CVSDeniesCare and #BoycottCVS started trending on Thursday, with Pill Club itself retweeting posts with the hashtag, including one from NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue, which lambasted CVS for reducing women's access to birth control.
While this doesn't mean CVS is taking away your general access to birth control, CVS critics believe people should be able to buy their birth control wherever they choose, whether online or in-person. CVS' decision makes this harder for some consumers who have chosen Pill Club to get their birth control.
Other online pharmacies have agreed to CVS' rates. Joel Wishkovsky, CEO of Simple Health, which also provides birth control delivery, told Mashable in a statement that it will continue serving CVS Caremark customers.
Central to the debate is whether contraceptive drugs should be classified as abortifacients. Some groups believe life begins at fertilization. Common birth control methods, they argue, qualify as abortifacients because they prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.
A Kansas nurse practitioner filed suit against CVS on Oct. 12, accusing the retail pharmacy chain of firing her because she refused to prescribe birth control and emergency contraceptives, despite formerly having a religious exemption.
\"The only thing that changed in 2021 was that CVS labeled providing counseling and advice about contraceptives, abortifacients, and other birth control options as 'essential functions,'\" the lawsuit says.
Emergency contraceptive pills prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, and are most effective when taken as immediately as possible. There are different rules about how emergency contraception should be dispensed, depending on its variety:
Most spermicides contain nonoxynol-9, a substance that essentially stops sperm in their tracks. This means that the substance prevents sperm from reaching an unfertilized egg. Spermicide may be used alone or with other types of birth control, such as condoms and diaphragms.
No OTC birth control is perfect. Condoms can break on occasion, sponges may be removed too soon, and any other number of things may happen to disrupt protection. If this happens, what you do next can mean the difference between an unplanned pregnancy and effective prevention.
If you decide that you may interested in hormonal birth control pills, you should know that they may be coming soon to a store near you. In 2015, legislation was introduced to allow hormonal birth control pills to be sold without a prescription. The American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians support the legislation based on the proven safety and effectiveness of the pills. A survey published in Contraceptionshowed two-thirds of women agree.
CVS Health Corp. and Rite Aid Corp. pharmacies are limiting purchases of emergency contraceptive pills as demand for the medication surged following the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the constitutional right to abortion.
CVS is temporarily limiting purchases to three pills per customer to ensure equitable access and consistent supply on store shelves, a spokesperson said Monday. The pharmacy chain has ample supply of the emergency contraceptives Plan B and Aftera, both online and in store, the spokesperson said. Rite Aid is also limiting purchases of Plan B to three per customer due to increased demand, a spokesperson for the company said.
Many people have already been preparing for what activists have described as a public-health emergency. Last month, when a draft of the Supreme Court opinion was leaked, online searches surged for over-the-counter emergency contraceptive medication, while increasing numbers made appointments to get intrauterine devices that provide long-term birth control.
On Thursday, after birth-control delivery service Pill Club went public with its battle over reimbursement rates with pharmacy company CVS Caremark, the hashtags #CVSDeniesCare and #BoycottCVS started trending on Twitter. Pill Club alleges that, as of early July, CVS is paying it and other mail-order companies less for filling prescriptions, and this rate change will affect its ability to keep operating.
Pill Club is one of several mail-order birth control services, which allow patients to get a prescription via a virtual consultation with a doctor or transfer their current prescription, and then deliver their chosen method of birth control to their door. This makes access to birth control more convenient and affordable, especially for people without insurance, since no in-person visit to a doctor is required.
According to Pill Club, 70 percent of its users previously had difficulties obtaining birth control, and 55 percent said they would have to stop taking birth control without Pill Club. Users took to Twitter to talk about the many medical reasons they take birth control, and the reasons why someone would need to have birth control delivered, including disability, privacy concerns, and living in a rural area.
The issue was brought to public light by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) after one of her staffers was charged a $20 copay when trying to buy generic birth control at a CVS in Washington, D.C. Such a copay is illegal under the Affordable Care Act. Speier wrote a letter to Larry Merlo, the CEO of CVS, earlier this month.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of women no longer have to pay for preventative health services and screenings, like an annual check-up, pap-smears and generic birth control. According to a recent study from the Guttmacher Institute, the percentage of privately insured women who no longer have to pay out-of-pocket costs for birth control is growing quickly.
In fall 2012, before Obamacare went into effect, only 15 percent of insured women got free birth control pills. Today, that number is nearly 70 percent. The reason not all women today have health insurance that includes no-cost birth control is that some people are still covered by plans that are temporarily allowed to disregard this provision and other Obamacare rules. Eventually, virtually all health insurance will include no-cost contraceptives.
Customers with questions about an illegal co-pay charge, or those who want to make sure they are receiving a reimbursement and whose prescription drug benefits are covered through the Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) CVS Caremark, are encouraged to call 1-800-704-6589 and ask to speak with a Tier 2 representative or supervisor about a generic birth control illegal co-pay charge to make sure that their call is immediately escalated to a staff member with override capabilities.
Target, Walmart, and Walgreens offer the ability to check online to see what birth control options are available and whether a product is in stock at your local store. They also offer online checkout with an in-store pickup.
Pharmacies around Kansas City including Walgreens, CVS, Target and Walmart all have emergency contraception pills in stock and available for purchase. CVS is limiting customers to purchasing three pills per person at a time to ensure people can access the pill as demand surges across the country.
Emergency contraceptive is one of the few birth control options that is used to prevent pregnancy after sex. Morning after pills can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex. Popular morning after pill brands include, Plan B One Step, AfterPill, Preventeza and EContra, to name a few.
These pills use a high dose of a hormone called levonorgestrel, which is similar to the naturally occurring hormone progesterone. Morning after pills work to prevent pregnancy by preventing the body from releasing an egg, which essentially stops your body from ovulating.
Levonorgestrel pills also might not work for people who are over 165 pounds. However, there are other emergency contraception options available. The Ella morning after pill is one option for people who are between 165 and 195 pounds. Ella can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex and can be up to to 85% effective against getting pregnancy.
Itrauterin Devices (IUD) is another birth control option that can work up to five days after unprotected sex. IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control. The IUD can reduce chances of getting pregnant by more than 99.9% and can last up to 12 years. IUDs are also one of the best emergency options for folks over 195 pounds.
Most morning after pills can be purchased over the counter and do not require any ID to purchase. In Kansas City, they can be found at stores like Walgreens, CVS, Target or Walmart. You can also get a morning after pill delivered directly to your house through services like Instacart or Amazon.
Brands like Plan B One-Step typically cost around $45 to $50, while Aftera will run you about $40. Plan B pills can also be purchased at Planned Parenthood Patty Brous Health Center for $40, and no appointment is needed to make the pur