Pharmacy sees 3,000% jump in emergency contraceptive sales after Roe ruling

Supreme Court ruling on abortion sparks nationwide protests

Women across the U.S. are stocking up on emergency contraceptives after the Supreme Court overturned its landmark ruling protecting a woman's right to have an abortion. 

Online reproductive and sexual health provider Wisp, which sells two different types of so-called morning-after pills, said it witnessed an unprecedented 3,000% surge in sales of the emergency contraceptives after the Supreme Court's decision Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade

Sales of morning-after pills have continued to rise every day since and so far the company has been able to meet demand, Wisp CEO Ahmad Bani said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch. 

Customers first flocked to Wisp's website in May, after a draft version of the high court's decision on Roe was leaked. At the time, Wisp recorded a 40% surge in sales of emergency contraception products and services compared to the previous month, Bani said. 

Next steps now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned

Wisp sells Levonorgestrel, a generic version of the Plan B pill, for $17. The pills can be taken within three days of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Wisp also sells a different type of emergency contraceptive called Ella, which can be taken within five days after sex, costs $22 and requires a prescription. 

Some retailers, including national pharmacy chains CVS and Rite Aid, are rationing the medication to preserve supply amid the spike in demand. 

CVS on Monday said it was temporarily limiting purchases of morning-after pills to three boxes per transaction after seeing a sharp increase in the sale of emergency contraceptives immediately following the Supreme Court decision. 

In a statement, the drugstore chain said it had "ample supply" of Plan B and Aftera, another brand-name product women can take to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if a birth control method fails. By Tuesday, sales had stabilized, according to a spokesperson, who said CVS is "in the process of removing the purchase limits, which will take effect in-store and on over the next 24 hours." 

Emergency contraceptives typically work by delaying or preventing ovulation and are intended as a backup method of birth control. The drugs are distinct from abortion drugs, which terminate pregnancies. Plan B costs $49.99 for a single pill, while Aftera costs $39.99.

Rite Aid is also limiting purchases of emergency contraceptives, including Plan B and Option 2 brand pills. Customers are limited to three pills per order, a spokesperson for the drugstore chain told CBS MoneyWatch. 


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