Wal-Mart, in reversal, to stock emergency contraception pill


Friday, March 3rd 2006, 4:29 pm
By: News On 6


Officials of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced Friday the company will reverse its earlier policy and stock emergency contraception pills in all of its pharmacies effective March 20, saying the giant retailer could not justify being the country's only major pharmacy chain not to carry the morning-after pill.

The announcement comes after Massachusetts last month ordered the world's largest retailer to stock the so-called Plan B pill, following a lawsuit by three Boston women against Wal-Mart.

Illinois also requires pharmacies to carry the prescription drug, and those are the only two states where Wal-Mart carries emergency contraception.

``We expect more states to require us to sell emergency contraceptives in the months ahead,'' said Ron Chomiuk, vice president of pharmacy for Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart.

``Because of this, and the fact that this is an FDA-approved product, we feel it is difficult to justify being the country's only major pharmacy chain not selling it,'' Chomiuk said in a statement.

Chomiuk said the company will maintain its conscientious objection policy, which is consistent with the tenets of the American Pharmaceutical Association. The policy, except where prohibited by law, allows any Wal-Mart or Sam's Club pharmacy employee who does not feel comfortable dispensing a prescription to refer customers to another pharmacist or pharmacy.

Some abortion opponents believe emergency contraception is a form of abortion because it blocks the fertilized egg from being implanted on the uterine wall.