Amazon to limit purchases of Plan B and other emergency contraceptive pills

Amazon is the latest, and the largest, retailer to cap purchases of the drug.

Shannon Stapleton / reuters

Amazon is limiting sales of Plan B and other emergency contraceptives to three units per customer in the wake of increased demand, the company confirmed to several media outlets. Last week’s US Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade prompted a spike in sales of Plan B and other generic brands of levonorgestrel morning-after pills.

Customers who order emergency contraception on Amazon still face a bit of a wait. Amazon’s main listing for Plan B (a popular name brand of levonorgestrel made by a company called Foundation Consumer Healthcare) displays an estimated delivery range of July 19 through August 6. MyChoice, a generic brand of levonorgestrel that is cheaper than Plan B displays a delivery date of July 28. Engadget has reached out to Amazon for an estimate on when it will remove its cap on sales, and will update if we hear back.

Rite-Aid is also capping both online and in-person sales of emergency contraception to three per customer. Walmart has a more generous limit of 10 units of Plan B per customer, and Target limits online sales of Plan B to six orders per customer. Following a temporary cap on sales, both Walgreens and CVS have removed purchase limits on Plan B as of Tuesday evening.

"We continue to have ample supply of emergency contraceptives to meet customer needs," Matt Blanchette, CVS’s senior manager of retail communications told CNN.

Those who don’t want to turn to Amazon or a major drugstore chain have other online options for Plan. Both Instacart and GoPuff also offer Plan B for same-day delivery. A number of telehealth startups such as Wisp, Nurx and Stix sell generic emergency contraceptive pills (though sales are restricted to certain states). Sales of emergency contraceptive products on Wisp spiked by 40 percent following a leak of the court’s decision back in May, Wisp confirmed to Engadget. Furthermore, sales were 25 times the daily average for May on Friday, the day of the court’s ruling.

“We have been able to meet the current surge in demand. We are not putting any restrictions on emergency contraceptive pills,” noted Wisp CEO Ahmad Bani in a statement to Engadget.

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