CVS Health says it is absorbing the costs of the “pink tax” on menstrual products in its stores in 12 states, including Hawaii, as part of efforts to address period poverty.
CVS, which operates Longs Drugs in Hawaii, said CVS Pharmacy as of Oct. 5 began paying the sales tax on all period products purchased in-store and online in 12 states.
Hawaii customers should find a note on their receipts or at online purchase checkout, confirming that CVS paid the tax on the period products they purchased, the corporation said.
The absorption of the “pink tax” is part of the “HERe, Healthier Happens Together” initiative CVS said it is taking to support women’s mental and physical well-being.
As part of the initiative, CVS is partnering with national organizations working to eliminate the “pink tax” altogether in 26 U.S. states.
Additionally, CVS said it is lowering the regular retail price of CVS Health and Live Better brand tampons, menstrual pads, liners, and other products by 25%.
Period poverty refers to inadequate access to menstrual hygiene tools and education, including sanitary products, washing facilities, and waste management, according to the American Medical Women’s Association.
In the U.S., women struggle to achieve adequate menstrual hygiene due to lack of access and income, AMWA said.
CVS said it was also lowering prices on other CVS Health brand products such as UTI meds and pregnancy tests to make them more accessible to consumers.
The MinuteClinic at CVS will also offer new menstrual, contraception and menopause services as part of its women’s health services.