CVS Reduces Periodic Product Costs by 25% and Pays the “Tampon Tax” in 12 States

  • Starting Thursday, CVS Health is reducing the cost of its menstrual products by 25%.
  • As of Oct. 5, the company also began paying sales tax for menstrual products on behalf of customers in 12 states, most of which currently have a “pad tax.”
  • In the United States today, one in four people struggle to afford menstrual products. Proponents point out that making them accessible and affordable is key to ending period poverty.

CVS Health reduces the costs of its menstrual products — and working to eliminate the “tampon tax” in some states.

The pharmacy chain announcement this week that it would reduce the cost of CVS Health-branded tampons, menstrual pads, liners and cups by 25% beginning on or before Thursday, October 13. In an email to USA TODAY on Thursday, a CVS Health representative confirmed that this will apply to all CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide.

Period products sold at retail will be eligible for the cost reduction — promotions or sale items are not included, the company noted.

“Women have long faced systemic barriers on their path to better health — from access to affordability to stigma,” said Michelle Peluso, executive vice president and chief customer officer of CVS Health and co-chair of CVS Pharmacy, in a statement sent to USA TODAY. “We hope our actions will help break down barriers and fill gaps, while inspiring other companies to follow our lead.”

As of Oct. 5, the company also began paying applicable sales tax for menstrual products on behalf of customers in 12 states, most of which currently have a “pad tax”: Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee. , Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

According to advocacy nonprofit Alliance for Vintage Supplies, Louisiana passed legislation to eliminate its vintage goods tax in June 2021 – and the bill came into force in July 2022. Similar legislation was recently passed in Virginiawhere the tax exemption is expected to start next January.

Yet there are 22 US states that tax menstrual products – often as “non-essential” or luxury goods – and/or don’t have legislation in place to eliminate the “tampon tax” from September. , reports Alliance for Period Supplies.

Poverty awareness period:On Period Action Day, 1 in 4 people struggle to buy menstrual products. 22 states still tax them.

“We applaud CVS’s announcement to reduce vintage supply prices and pay the ‘pad tax’ in states where it can do so,” said Joanne Samuel Goldblum, CEO of National Diaper Bank Network and Alliance for Period Supplies, in a statement sent to USA TODAY on Thursday.

“At the Alliance for Period Supplies, we are focused on ending period poverty in the United States,” Goldblum added. “The elimination of sales taxes on vintage goods is a step in the right direction and we are actively advocating for legislation to end the stamp tax in the 22 states (which) continue to impose a sales tax on the basic necessities people need to thrive.”

CVS has been unable to pay sales tax for menstrual products in all states that tax them due to laws in 13 states that prohibit organizations from covering tax on a product, a representative said. CVS Health to USA TODAY – adding that the company is working on operational steps to hopefully cover the tax in Arizona, another state where vintage supplies are currently taxed, one day.

Voice:America must abolish the stamp tax. Girls, women deserve it.

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Especially in recent years, more and more people have worked to eradicate the “tampon tax”. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have passed laws to abolish taxes on period products. Five other states have no state sales tax. But there is still work to be done, advocates say.

Fight against menstrual poverty

Experts point out that making menstrual products affordable is key to ending period poverty, defined as the inability to access menstrual supplies and/or receive adequate education about menstrual health.

In the United States today, one in four menstruating people struggle to afford menstrual hygiene products, according to Alliance for Vintage Supplies.

And one study 2021 of the nonprofit’s founding sponsor, U by Kotex, showed that two in five people have struggled to buy menstrual products in their lifetime due to a lack of income – an increase of 35 % from 2018 research. Black, Latino and low-income respondents were among those most affected by menstrual poverty, according to the study.

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Other calls for policy change include making menstrual products free in all public restrooms and providing comprehensive education to help work towards menstrual fairness.

Menstrual products are “a necessity and everyone should have access to them, just like basic food and shelter. It’s a human rights issue,” Damaris Pereda, director of national programs for the organization global nonprofit Period., previously said USA TODAY.

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