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Capitol Pill is a feature with tracks contraception access in D.C. pharmacies.
Mt. Pleasant Pharmacy, 3169 Mount Pleasant St. NW.
Mount Pleasant Pharmacy offers up copies, keys, passports, faxes, and a wheel of sunglasses in addition to its standard arsenal of prescription drugs. The contraceptive options here are similarly comprehensive. Though this 25-year-old independent outfit can double as a local dude hang-out, pharmacist Tony Majeed has got women’s health covered. Majeed says he’d “love to see the D.C. government subsidize women’s health products,” from birth control to over-the-counter anti-fungals. Until then, he’s got all forms of female contraception in stock—-pill, patch, ring, and Plan B—-behind his counter.
In the past quarter-century, Majeed has seen gentrification force out a number of local independent pharmacies, so he’s quick to note the upsides of fulfilling your women’s health needs at a non-chain outfit. Though the head pharmacist himself doesn’t speak Spanish, his seven employees are bilingual, and prescriptions can be translated on demand. But no matter the language on the pill bottle, prescriptions remain private. “We don’t sell our information to anybody,” says the pharmacist, who suggests that with the chains, you never know if your Valtrex prescription will end up falling into “that deep black hole of medical information” shared on national databases. Over-the-counter contraception options at this neighborhood pharmacy are more private, too. No locksmith necessary here—customers can peruse the shop’s condom choices freely without asking a sales rep to come fumble with a glass case or plastic lock.
Majeed says his shop also seeks to free up the financial burden of women’s healthcare. Customers without health insurance can still find oral contraception on Mount Pleasant Street for 20 to 60 dollars, prices the pharmacist says he doesn’t mark up more than a couple bucks. But Majeed admits that low-profit birth control prices are pretty standard across the industry, which is why some pharmacies can refuse to sell it without suffering economic harm. “They can do that B.S. because they’re not taking a big loss,” says Majeed, who adds that pro-life pharmacies can lose out in the long run. “Women are good customers,” says Majeed.