Amazon, Rite Aid cap purchase of emergency contraceptives

Amazon is limiting how many emergency contraceptives consumers can buy, joining other retailers who put in place similar caps following the Supreme Court decision overruling Roe v. Wade

Amazon is limiting how many emergency contraceptives consumers can buy, joining other retailers who put in place similar caps following the Supreme Court decision overruling Roe v. Wade.

Amazon's limit, which temporarily caps purchase of the contraceptives at three units per week, went into effect on Monday, a spokesperson for the e-commerce giant confirmed to The Associated Press. The company did not share further details on what emergency contraceptive products were limited for purchase, but a listing showed the cap applied to Plan B, the popular “morning after" pill.

A similar policy went into effect Monday at the drugstore chain Rite Aid, which has limited the purchase of Plan B pills to three units per customer due to increased demand, a company spokesperson said. The limit applies to both in-store and online purchases.

Emergency contraception is different from abortion pills used to end a pregnancy. Plan B, which can be obtained without a prescription, contains a concentrated dose of the same drug found in many regular birth control pills. If a woman takes Plan B within 72 hours of unprotected sex, she can lower the risk of pregnancy significantly. But if she's already pregnant, the pill has no effect.

Limiting purchases is standard practice that helps retailers prevent stockpiling and reselling at higher prices.

“Retailers are being cautious. They are trying to manage it,” said Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail. “But I don’t think there are chronic shortages.”

Walmart, Amazon's top competitor, has capped online purchases of Plan B to 10 units, though it's unclear when the purchase limit began. The retailer doesn't have in-store limits at this time, but managers may make changes to help ensure availability based on the demand.

“Many of our products have online purchase limits in place,” a Walmart spokesperson said. “During times of fluctuating demand, these limits may change.”

Meanwhile, CVS Health said it removed its own caps on emergency contraceptives after it installed a temporary limit following Friday’s high court ruling. The company said it had been seeking to preserve access to the products following a “sharp increase” in sales, which have since returned to normal levels.

“We continue to have ample supply of emergency contraceptives to meet customer needs,” CVS Health spokesman Matthew Blanchette said.

The pharmacy chain Walgreens is still able to meet demand for in-store purchases and curbside pickup of over-the-counter emergency contraception pills. But spokeswoman Emily Mekstan said the company is restocking its ship-to-home business, which saw a jump in demand. CVS Health and Walgreens are the two biggest U.S. drugstore chains. They run around 19,000 locations combined.

Spokespeople for Target and Kroger said they didn't have anything to share on potential limits on contraceptive purchases.

______

AP staff writers Anne D'Innocenzio in New York and Tom Murphy in Indianapolis contributed to this report.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in