CVS has lowered the prices on its store-branded menstrual products nationwide and in some states has begun paying sales taxes levied on period products, known as the "pink tax" or "tampon tax" by critics.
Effective Oct. 13, the drug-store chain lowered prices by 25% on CVS-brand tampons, menstrual pads, liners, and cups and as of Oct. 5 began paying sales taxes on menstrual products in 12 states:
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
CVS said it’s unable to cover the tax in other states because state laws prohibit third parties from paying sales taxes on behalf of consumers. The chain also is “working to help eliminate the tax nationwide,” according to its website. As of Sept. 20, 22 states impose taxes on menstrual products — often labeled as nonessential or luxury goods, according to the Alliance for Period Supplies.
"We applaud the announcement by CVS to reduce prices on period supplies and pay the 'tampon tax' in states where it can do so," Joanne Samuel Goldblum, CEO of National Diaper Bank Network and Alliance for Period Supplies, told USA Today.
One in 4 consumers who menstruate struggled to purchase period supplies in 2021 because of financial difficulties, the Alliance for Period Supplies found. Too often period products are taxed as luxury items and not recognized as basic necessities," the nonprofit advocacy organization said in a statement on its website. "No student should have to miss school, no adult should have to miss work, and no person should have to miss out on daily life because they are unable to afford the basic necessities they require to thrive."