The Washington Post
Practice what you preach
Walgreens never ceases to amaze us. As noted in the March 4 front-page article “Walgreens limits sale of abortion pills,” the company is bowing to political pressure rather than medical science by not selling the legal prescription drug mifepristone in numerous states. Mifepristone is a legal medication used for endometriosis, uterine fibroids and women who have undergone miscarriages or desire ending pregnancies 10 weeks or less after their last menstrual period. Previously, Walgreens pharmacists and employees blocked customers attempting to purchase legal birth control products. Denial of birth control and subsequent denial of a drug that is a consequence of not having birth control products are outrageous actions by any pharmacy that purports to serve the public.
How disingenuous is Walgreens? Walgreens is a company that claims “we are boldly committed to creating a better world through health and wellness.” However, Walgreens has no problem selling tobacco products. Rather than promoting health, Walgreens sued San Francisco over the city’s ban on cigarette sales 44 years after the U.S. surgeon general’s report linked tobacco use to cancer. Tobacco is a major cause of cancer and cardiovascular disease, killing more than 50 Americans every hour, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Furthermore, Walgreens is the pharmacy that promoted the fraudulent company Theranos without validating its technology.
Whether people boycott Walgreens because they are not living up to its motto is up to each individual. However, we believe Walgreens should practice what it preaches.
Linn Goldberg, Lake Oswego, Ore.
The writer, professor emeritus at Oregon Health & Science University, was awarded National Institutes of Health
funding to reduce pregnancy risks.
Louis Speizer, Phoenixville, Pa. The writer is managing partner of Griffing Speizer & Partners, a biotechnology consulting company.