Oct. 13, 2022 -- CVS is cutting the cost of its store-branded menstrual products and paying state sales taxes on them in a dozen states.
The drug store chain said that starting Thursday it was reducing prices on CVS Health and Live Better tampons, menstrual pads, liners, and cups by 25%.
“Women deserve quality when it comes to the products they may need each month,” CVS said in a statement. “We’re paying the tax on period products on behalf of our customers where and when possible, and are working to help eliminate the tax nationwide.”
The store is also trying to equalize costs between men’s and women’s hygiene products, like razors.
The chain is paying sales taxes on period products in these 12 states: Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
It can’t pay the taxes in other states that have them because of laws that prevent third parties from paying taxes for a customer.
“This move will highlight their commitment to addressing women’s health and pave the way for reducing menstrual inequity,” Padmini Murthy, MD, the global health lead for the American Medical Women’s Association, said in an email to CNN, “and not just to promote the use of CVS products.”
Twenty-three states don’t tax feminine hygiene products, says the Alliance for Period Supplies, an advocacy group seeking to expand access to menstrual supplies.
“Too often period products are taxed as luxury items and not recognized as basic necessities,” the organization said. “Period products are taxed at a similar rate to items like decor, electronics, makeup and toys.”
Tampon prices rose 12.2% for the year ending October 2, according to market research firm IRI.
And 25% of women struggle to buy the products because of the expense, says the group.