CVS: Put your customers' health first and guarantee access to contraception

Stand with RH Reality Check and
other signers to tell CVS: Please guarantee in-store access to all forms of contraception.

Background: Can you imagine walking into a pharmacy to buy ibuprofen and, finding that it was kept behind the pharmacy counter, you ask the pharmacist if you can buy some and are told no. The pharmacist doesn't believe in selling ibuprofen, and unfortunately the sales associate on shift doesn't either. It's against their religion. You're out of luck.

It sounds funny, but if you go to a CVS pharmacy for emergency contraception, or to refill a monthly birth control prescription, their corporate policy allows employees to refuse to serve you in the store, even if there isn't anyone else on duty who's willing to do so. Is there another store to go to? If you're in an urban center, have time on your hands, are very mobile and have access to transportation, sure. If you're in a rural area or have difficulties getting around, you may be out of luck at one of the largest pharmacy chains in the country. [1]

It's become something of a fad these days for certain people to try and prove their righteousness in public by refusing to do their jobs so they can try to interfere in the health care decisions of strangers. CVS has a policy that allows this kind of shirking of professional responsibility by its employees. But if CVS wants to be seen as a health care provider, as they say they do, they need to prioritize the needs of their customers.

CVS, a company that takes in more prescription revenue than any other pharmacy in the United States, should ensure that there is always someone on duty at each of their stores who's willing to meet customers' needs for legal, preventative health care.

[1] "Dear CVS: A Real ‘Health-Care Company’ Guarantees In-Store Access to Birth Control," by Erin Matson, RH RealityCheck, February 27, 2014.