Aside from having fewer pharmacies, research shows that in areas heavily populated by people of color, CVS stores have kept condoms and infant formula in locked cabinets. Yet for some reason these products are readily available on shelves in predominantly white suburban areas.
The report highlights the inequity with which CVS serves some of its customers. We urge CVS to address that,” says Eva A. Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.
Although the findings are being challenged by CVS, it is not difficult to see the injustice of this situation. For many low-income people of color, access to resources is already hard to obtain. So by discriminating against people who already know that they are at a disadvantage, we need to ask ourselves, why are we furthering the injustice?
If as a society we want to see the number of unplanned pregnancies decrease, then why would we make if harder for people to get condoms? For some, purchasing condoms may make them feel uncomfortable, so chances are that having to ask someone to grab the condoms out of a locked cabinet may cause men and women to not purchase them. Where’s the benefit in that?
Michael DeAngelis, CVS’s public spokesman indicated that the claims are inaccurate and based on outdated information saying:
CVS Caremark does not discriminate in our policies or store operations, or tolerate discrimination of any kind in our organization.
As advocacy groups plan to take action against CVS through protests, the organization is planning to release a report of its’ own, refuting the claims.
Contributed by Angela Donadic, Policy and Advocacy Fellow