Following Walgreens’ decision to halt the distribution of abortion drug mifepristone in 21 states where Republicans have threatened legal action, California said it will stop doing business with the pharmacy.
Last Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted, “California won’t be doing business with @walgreens — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk. We’re done.”
Newsom’s office released a statement on Wednesday saying that California will not renew a $54 million contract with Walgreens.
“This is an attempt to call the question ‘Which side are you on? Whose side are you on?’” Newsom told Politico in an interview.
“Are you going to just cower in the face of bullies? Are you going to just roll over?” he added, noting that this was just the first step in what would be an “exhaustive review” of the state’s ties with Walgreens.
Newsom later tweeted, “We’re serious about not investing in companies that cave to the extremist agenda of the @GOP.”
Walgreens’ decision came after it received a letter signed by attorneys general from 20 states threatening legal action if the company continued to sell mifepristone. The letter was also sent to CVS, Costco, Walmart, Rite Aid, Albertsons, and Kroger, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
Shares of Walgreens fell over 3% on Thursday.
Newsom’s aides said on Monday that they did not have any concrete details on how the state would stop its relationship with the pharmacy chain but said it was reviewing all business relationships with the company, including its Medi-Cal and Covered California contracts, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The statement released by Newsom’s office said the California Department of General Services (DGS) gave Walgreens a formal notice that it will not renew its contract that was scheduled to go into effect on May 1, 2023. The state “instead will explore other options for furnishing the same services.”
Walgreens responded that it was disappointed by California’s decision, according to Politico.
On Monday, the company released a statement saying, “We want to be very clear about what our position has always been: Walgreens plans to dispense Mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legally permissible to do so. Once we are certified by the FDA, we will dispense this medication consistent with federal and state laws. Providing legally approved medications to patients is what pharmacies do, and is rooted in our commitment to the communities in which we operate.”