CVS lowers prices of period products by 25% and absorbs the “stamp tax”

(NEXSTAR) — Beginning this month, CVS customers will see major changes to menstrual products in pharmacies nationwide.

Price reductions will include CVS Health-branded tampons, menstrual pads, liners and cups at major CVS Pharmacy locations. The 25% discount applies to regular retail prices only; no promotions or sale items are included. The discounts are effective at CVS sites no later than October 13, CVS says.

CVS says it now pays applicable sales tax on vintage goods on behalf of customers in 12 states: Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia. The change went into effect on October 5, according to CVS.

Some states have laws prohibiting organizations from paying taxes for their clients, CVS notes.

Additionally, the drugstore brand claims to have evaluated “thousands of products” to ensure that “women’s” and “men’s” products like razors and shaving cream are priced the same.

“We don’t believe women should pay more than men for the same thing,” CVS writes.

The changes are part of CVS’s “HERE Health Happens Together” initiative, which will include expanded health services for women at its Minute Clinics.

The so-called “tampon tax” or “menstrual tax” refers to the sales tax added to periodic care products. The presence of sales tax on items that people need — and which non-menstruating people don’t need — has been criticized for decades.

A 2021 study from George Mason University found that one in 10 female students experience “period poverty,” meaning they have little or no access to menstrual hygiene products.

The study found that menstrual poverty affects women of color the most, in addition to immigrants. Those living in menstrual poverty also reported using non-menstrual products in place of items like tampons or pads, in addition to using tampons longer than recommended. Some said they had to do without it altogether.

Currently, 22 U.S. states tax menstrual products, says a July report from nonprofit data source USA Facts. States that tax menstrual products are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee , Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Recently, Scotland passed its Menstrual Products Act, becoming the first country in the world to ensure that menstrual products are free for citizens.

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