We want to be very clear about what our position has always been: Walgreens plans to dispense mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legally permissible to do so. Once we are certified by the FDA, we will dispense this medication consistent with federal and state laws. Providing legally approved medications to patients is what pharmacies do, and is rooted in our commitment to the communities in which we operate.
Mifepristone Myths versus Facts
Myth: Walgreens has stopped dispensing mifepristone in some states.
- Fact: No major retail pharmacy has received certification from the FDA to dispense mifepristone. Walgreens is currently seeking certification, so that it can dispense mifepristone. It never “stopped dispensing” as it does not have the required authority to dispense in the first place.
- Fact: In January 2023 after the FDA’s announcement of a program that will allow retail pharmacies to dispense mifepristone for the first time, Walgreens was the first major retail pharmacy to announce that it would seek certification in the FDA program to dispense mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legal for retail pharmacists to do so.
- Fact: Some major retail pharmacies have not yet indicated if they will even participate in the FDA program to dispense mifepristone.
Myth: Walgreens will not dispense mifepristone in some states where abortion “is legal.”
- Fact: Certain states where it is legal for a woman to obtain an abortion have restrictions on “who” can provide medication that induces an abortion.
- Fact: Pharmacists are prohibited from dispensing mifepristone in certain states where abortion is otherwise legal. In those states, mifepristone must be administered by a physician, in the presence of a physician, and/or in a hospital or clinical setting.
- Fact: Failure to follow these state laws could result in individual pharmacists facing very real and serious legal risk, including criminal charges that could lead to jail time, steep fines and the loss of their license by state boards of pharmacy.
- Fact: Any retail pharmacy that becomes certified to dispense mifepristone will be subject to the same laws.
- Fact: Walgreens has a duty to protect our pharmacists who are doing their job, as they always do, of dispensing FDA-approved medications to patients and serving their local communities.
Myth: Walgreens has changed its position on dispensing mifepristone.
- Fact: Walgreens has been consistent in and has never wavered from its position: We intend to dispense mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legal to do so.
- Fact: Once certified by the FDA, Walgreens will dispense mifepristone consistent with state and federal laws.
Myth: This is a Walgreens issue. Other pharmacies may dispense mifepristone in places Walgreens has said it will not.
- Fact: State laws vary widely and shift frequently in a number of states (both in courts and legislatures). Current federal and state laws regarding the dispensing of mifepristone apply to all retail pharmacies. Walgreens has committed to continually evaluate changes in the law in those states and will dispense mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legally permissible to do so.
- Fact: No major retail pharmacy has said that that they will operate differently.
- Fact: Several major retail pharmacies have not indicated whether they will seek certification at all.
Myth: Walgreens is responding to political pressure.
- Fact: Providing patients access to FDA-approved medications is what Walgreens does. That’s our job as a pharmacy.
- Fact: We have a deep commitment to the communities in which we operate. We will always protect our patients seeking access to medications, as well as our pharmacists who are doing their jobs.
- Fact: We are proud of the legacy of care we provide to the communities we serve, and our ongoing commitment to our pharmacists and team members.
Myth: Walgreens does not respect different religious beliefs.
- Fact: Walgreens respects the beliefs and practices of all team members and is committed to creating an environment in which everyone – patients, customers, team members, community members, and suppliers – feels valued and respected.
- Fact: Consistent with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and corresponding state and local laws, Walgreens’ policy has for many decades been that any team member who does not feel comfortable performing a task at work due to moral, religious, and/or ethical objections can request a special exemption/accommodation. We also have very clear policies in place that ensure that our customers’ needs will always be completely satisfied, delivering on our commitment to upholding our legacy of care.
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