CVS apologizes after a pharmacist refused to fill a transgender woman’s prescription

Grant Boone
July 24, 2018

A transgender woman living in Arizona has filed a complaint against CVS for refusing to fill her hormone prescription.

"I left my doctor's office elated", she wrote in the blog post. After filling the prescription at Walgreens without trouble, Hall said she called CVS' corporate phone line multiple times to complain, but that no one addressed her concerns. Hall had just left the doctor's office eager to receive the medication that she said would finally "affirm my identity".

"My family supports me, fortunately, and helped me work through the anger and humiliation this experience caused", she wrote. The pharmacist allegedly questioned her in front of other customers as to why her doctor prescribed the medication, Hall wrote in a blog post published Thursday on the Arizona ACLU website.

"Embarrassed and distressed, I almost started crying in the middle of the store", she said. I was carrying my first prescriptions for hormone therapy.

Hall said she was humiliated during the encounter, and believed that the pharmacist was trying to out her as a transgender woman. "I just froze and worked on holding back the tears".

But the pharmacist, who has not been identified, refused to fill the prescription did not give a reason why and instead questioned who and why gave Hill the prescription, Hill said.

This incident comes less than a month after another Arizona woman said a Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill her miscarriage prescription due to his "moral objection".

Hall has also filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy, according to The Republic.

According to CNN, CVS apologized for the incident: "CVS Health extends its honest apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring", the company said.

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The pharmacist violated CVS policies and "does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, non-discrimination, and the delivery of outstanding patient care".

Hall, on April 24, went straight from her doctor's office to the pharmacy, prescriptions in hand.

CVS, however, fired its employee and apologized to Hall on Friday.

"CVS Health extends its honest apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring", the company said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona encouraged Hall to speak out to create change on behalf of transgender people, said Steve Kilar, ACLU of Arizona spokesman.

Hall said she felt devastated by the rejection.

In April, the Trump administration said it planned to roll back a rule issued under former president Barack Obama that prevents doctors and hospitals from discriminating against transgender people.

Meanwhile, those in the LGBTQ community say it's a step in the right direction, but sadly the pharmacist's actions were not surprising.

"Through training and written policies, the company needs to make it clear to their employees - especially their pharmacists - that transgender customers deserve respect", she wrote.

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