General Merchandise/HBC

Lil’ Drug Store Becomes Exclusive Convenience Channel Distributor for Emergency Contraceptive

Will sell Cadence OTC’s Morning After Pill in more than 180,000 retail locations nationwide
Photograph courtesy of Lil' Drug Store Products

Lil’ Drug Store Products Inc. (LDSP), a supplier of health and beauty care (HBC) and general merchandise across convenience, travel, and hospitality retailers, has forged an exclusive distribution partnership with Cadence OTC’s emergency contraceptive product, Morning After Pill.

Starting in January 2024, the collaboration will make an emergency contraceptive available to more than 180,000 retail locations nationwide for the first time and will especially serve convenience stores located in the 8,000 zip codes characterized as “contraceptive deserts.”

“We’re committed to offering convenience stores the opportunity to carry a broad range of self-care solutions,” said Chris DeWolf, president and CEO of LDSP. “Since c-stores often serve as the primary retailer in small town and inner-city areas, we recognize the significance of providing an emergency contraceptive option at these critical point-of-need locations. The decision to introduce this new category to the industry is aligned with the critical health care role convenience stores play in their communities.”

Approximately one in 3 women ages 18 to 35 have used an emergency contraceptive at least once, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics. Within the sexual health category, emergency contraceptives have emerged as the top-selling product, amassing more than $655 million in annual retail sales in 2022—a 60% increase since 2018, LDSP said. Despite this escalating consumer demand, significant distribution gaps persist, preventing consumers from accessing emergency contraceptive options where and when they need them.

Through this partnership with Cadence OTC, LDSP is eliminating obstacles that have historically hindered women’s access to emergency contraceptives, including cost, prescription requirements and limited availability. Cadence OTC’s Morning After Pill is a safe option, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is available to consumers at half the price of the leading brand.

“Many people living in more remote communities are in contraceptive deserts, areas that have limited or no access to either healthcare services or over-the-counter contraceptive products,” said Cadence OTC co-founder and co-CEO Samantha Miller. “By distributing the product via Lil’ Drug Store Products, we are expanding access to a safe and effective emergency contraceptive option at an affordable price, making Morning After Pill available to the thousands of people who need it most in this post-Roe world.”

Beyond convenience stores, this partnership will extend the opportunity to hotels, airports and other point-of-need locations to carry Cadence OTC’s Morning After Pill.

Cadence OTC is a public benefits consumer healthcare company based in Oakland, California, “on a mission to increase over-the-counter (OTC) access to safe, effective, affordable contraceptives for everyone everywhere,” it said. Cadence holds rights to three of the most popular oral contraceptive formulations and is in the process of moving the birth control pill from prescription to over the counter, it said. The company is founded and led by reproductive health experts, healthcare entrepreneurs and supporters with the goal of making birth control equally accessible to all people.

Founded in 1974 to provide convenient relief to travelers, Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Lil’ Drug Store Products serves approximately 180,000 retail locations including convenience stores, travel and hospitality and other alternative retail locations. With its growing roster of brand partnerships, LDSP is a leading supplier of name-brand and private-label health and beauty products to retail and wholesale customers.

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