Tuesday April 23rd, 2024

ICYMI: Following Cortez Masto’s Advocacy, CVS and Walgreens Begin Dispensing Mifepristone in Nevada

In Case You Missed It, following U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s (D-Nev.) efforts, CVS and Walgreens have begun dispensing the abortion pill mifepristone at their Nevada pharmacies, The Nevada Independent reports. This means women prescribed mifepristone in Nevada will be able to pick it up at their local pharmacy — like nearly all other FDA-approved medications.

Cortez Masto repeatedly pushed to ensure that pharmacies across Nevada, including CVS and Walgreens, provide the most possible access to mifepristone for patients, in accordance with state and federal law. Senator Cortez Masto has also raised the alarm about the anti-choice right’s efforts to ban the abortion pill nationwide and joined an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect access to mifepristone.

Read More:

The Nevada Independent: Urged by Cortez Masto, CVS and Walgreens begin dispensing abortion pill in Nevada

By Gabby Birenbaum, 04/22/2024

The drug mifepristone’s authorization is under threat in a yet-to-be-decided Supreme Court case, but big pharmacies are filling prescriptions for now. Almost a year after major pharmacy chains began waffling at the prospect of filling mifepristone prescriptions, Walgreens and CVS began dispensing the abortion pill in Nevada during the last few weeks.

The decision comes after a concentrated push by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), who called on the chains to follow through with Food & Drug Administration (FDA) guidance updates finalized in 2023 allowing mifepristone to be dispensed and sold at pharmacies.

Now the most common means of terminating a pregnancy, mifepristone is the first of a two-pill drug regimen that patients can take within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. The pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute estimates that medication is now used for more than half (54 percent) of all abortions. Mifepristone is available in Nevada via mail or at clinics, but abortion rights advocates say the pharmacy option will make access as simple as patients visiting their regular doctor’s office (which often are not certified to stock the abortion pill), obtaining a prescription and then picking it up at their local pharmacy. 

But the drug’s new availability in Nevada could be imperiled — or made more significant — by a case before the U.S. Supreme Court asking justices to consider the legality of the drug itself and the FDA’s recent moves to expand its access. And if the Supreme Court rules against the FDA, its impacts would be felt even in states that have legalized abortion — such as Nevada.


When drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen and retail pharmacy chain Walgreens announced last March they would not move forward with dispensing the pill in states where they faced legal blowback from Republicans — potentially imperiling access in other states where abortion is legal, given the need for a certification process from the FDA — Cortez Masto pounced.

In both public letters and private conversations, the senator made the case that the patchwork of state abortion laws should not preclude Nevadans, who are guaranteed the right to an abortion through 24 weeks of pregnancy, from being able to access prescribed mifepristone at pharmacies.

I started with the fact that Nevada is a proud pro-choice state,” she said in a recent interview. “Nevada should not be penalized because other states wrongly have restricted a woman’s access to abortion.”

After months of deliberation and then a certification process, Walgreens and CVS — which initially had been mum on their plans — announced this March that they would begin dispensing the abortion pill in pharmacies in select states. Nevada was not included in the initial rollout, and the recent expansion to the Silver State, first reported in The Nevada Independent, was not publicized.

Now, Nevada patients with a mifepristone prescription can pick the pill at either pharmacy. Without making any formal announcements, the companies each confirmed to The Nevada Independent that mifepristone is now available at their pharmacies in Nevada. CVS began dispensing the abortion pill in Nevada on March 19, and Walgreens followed suit on April 17. Two independent pharmacies — A1C Pharmacy in Las Vegas and three locations of Renown Pharmacy in Reno — have also elected to begin dispensing mifepristone. 


On March 26, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case. Several justices — including the three Trump appointees, who have become swing votes within the court’s 6-3 conservative majority — seemed skeptical of the conservative doctors’ claims, suggesting the case might be decided on the plaintiffs’ standing rather than the merits of the case.

Cortez Masto, who has sounded alarms about conservative groups going after additional abortion rights through the federal judiciary, said the mifepristone case is one of several threats she’s monitoring. 

We have to be vigilant about everything — every potential challenge and restriction that right wing-Republicans want to do to further restrict women’s rights in this country when it comes to reproductive freedom,” she said.

KRXI (Broadcast)

You can now get that abortion pill, Mifepristone, at Walgreens and CVS Pharmacies right here in Nevada. Women prescribed the pill can pick it up just as easily as any other FDA approved medication. 

This comes after Senator Catherine Cortez Mastocalled on pharmacies to have the pill after the FDA updated its guidelines, allowing pharmacies to now sell it.

Mifepristone is one of the most common means of terminating a pregnancy and women typically take it drug within the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

KOLO (Broadcast)

The abortion pill is now being sold at local pharmacies here in Nevada. Just in the last few weeks, Walgreens and CVS began filling Mifepristone prescriptions. It’s also available via mail or at local clinics. 

The move has been hailed by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto who pushed to expand its access here in Nevada.

KLAS (Broadcast)

Walgreens and CVS stores in Nevada will now sell the abortion pill mifepristone. Mifepristone, meaning those prescribe the medication can pick it up at their local pharmacy.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s office confirmed CVS began filling the prescription in March. Walgreens followed suit last week.

The use of this medication abortion is the most common method of abortion in the U.S. This drug is at the center of legal challenges.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on access by July.



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