Wal-Mart pharmacies throughout the United States are now carryingthe emergency contraceptive Plan B, commonly referred to as the morning-after pill. The policy went into effect March 20. Up until last month,Wal-Mart was the only major pharmacy chain that refused to sell Plan B.The company currently is required to sell the contraceptive in Illinoisand Massachusetts.
In February, the board that oversees Massachusetts pharmaciesruled that Wal-Mart stores in that state must fill Plan B prescriptionsafter 3 women filed lawsuits. Illinois has a similar law. "We expectmore states to require us to sell emergency contraceptives in themonths ahead," said Ron Chomiuk, vice president of pharmacy forWal-Mart. "Because of this, and the fact that this is an FDA-approvedproduct, we feel it is difficult to justify being the country's only majorpharmacy chain not selling it."
The company still exercises its conscientious-objection policy thatallows a pharmacist who does not feel comfortable selling Plan B torefer patients to another pharmacist or pharmacy.