Bentonville, Ark. (March 3, 2006)—Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today confirmed that all of its pharmacies will begin carrying Plan B contraceptives, effective March 20. The company is currently required to sell the product in Illinois and Massachusetts, and pressure to introduce similar mandates is building in Connecticut and New York.
“We expect more states to require us to sell emergency contraceptives in the months ahead,” said Ron Chomiuk, vice president of Pharmacy for 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 the company will maintain its conscientious objection policy, which is consistent with the tenets of the American Pharmaceutical Association. This policy, except where prohibited by law, allows any Wal-Mart or SAM’S CLUB pharmacy associate who does not feel comfortable dispensing a prescription to refer customers to another pharmacist or pharmacy.
“This decision has been made after careful consideration and in the belief that we are doing what is best for the business, while respecting our individual associates,” Chomiuk said.