Walgreens, already the largest drug retailing chain in the US, is to expand into the global marketplace with the takeover of Alliance Boots in the UK.
It may have work to do on its reputation among female consumers, however, as it has repeatedly come under fire from US reproductive health activists for not doing more to ensure individual pharmacists abide by federal laws to provide emergency contraception.
At a national level, Walgreens, which has thousands of stores across the US, complies with FDA’s regulations on contraception and other healthcare provisions. But its name has become associated with a disturbing trend among pharmacists who have refused to provide over-the-counter emergency contraception to men buying it for their female partners.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said they had received a number of complaints from men who have had their requests for emergency contraception refused by pharmacists in Walgreens.