Safeway Shy On Contraception

Efforts to track down the Safeway chain’s policy – if they have one – on stocking and dispensing Plan B emergency contraception have proven elusive at best.

But Colorado Confidential is not the only organization that has been stymied by efforts to get the specifics. Planned Parenthood also has not been able to determine the policy of one of the largest grocery and pharmacy chains in Colorado when in comes to Plan B.

Several Safeways in conservative Colorado Springs reported they do not have the emergency contraception in stock, but the family planning organization says several Denver stores are carrying it for $61 a dose – the highest pricetag they’ve found so far for the over-the-counter drug.

“Safeway is unknown, which means they failed to respond to a whole host of requests,” says Kate Horle, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. “Either they refused to share their policy with us or they don’t have one.”

Jeff Stroh, director of public affairs for Safeway, has not returned multiple calls seeking clarification on the grocery and pharmacy chain’s policy regarding emergency contraception. In an informal poll of numerous Colorado Springs Safeways in mid-November, pharmacists either reported the drug was not in stock, though they did not know why – or referred media inquiries to the chain store regional headquarters in Denver.

“That’s a corporate decision,” said the pharmacist at the Safeway at North Academy and Union Boulevard.

Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, is selling Plan B for the lowest cost in Colorado: $30 a dose. On Dec. 6, the organization is giving away doses of the over-the-counter contraception. Planned Parenthood locations can be found here.

And, Planned Parenthood has launched a website, fillmypillsnow.org, where it has scored numerous pharmacies on the availability and accessibility of emergency contraception.

The following pharmacies have received a “Thumbs Up” score from Planned Parenthood:
– Brooks Pharmacy/ Eckerd Corporation
– Costco Pharmacies
– CVS Pharmacy
– Fagen’s Pharmacy
– Harris Teeter
– Kmart Pharmacy
– Medicine Shoppe
– Price Chopper Supermarkets
– Rite Aid Corporation
– Super Valu Pharmacies
– Walgreens

The following pharmacies have received a “Question mark” score (because their policy is unknown):
– Duane Reade
– Giant
– Piggly Wiggly
– Safeway

The following pharmacies have received a “Thumbs down” score from Planned Parenthood:
– Target
– Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
– Winn Dixie Stores Inc.

Cara DeGette is a longtime editor and columnist at the Colorado Springs Independent.

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Cara Degette

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