Transgender Woman Says CVS Refused To Fill Her Hormone Prescription

CVS pharmacist fired after refusing to fill transgender woman's hormone prescription | TheHill

A CVS pharmacist was sacked this week after he refused to refill a transgender woman's prescription.

"Hilde was so excited when she got out of the doctor's office with those hormone therapy, and then to have to go and face that kind of discrimination from the pharmacist, was really devastating for her", said Steve Kilar with ACLU of Arizona.

But when she gave her prescription to the pharmacist, he denied her the medication without giving a reason, she wrote.

"He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions", she said.

"He did not give me a clear reason for the refusal", Hall wrote, "embarrassed and distressed, I almost started crying in the middle of the store", she continued.

The pharmacist refused to give her back the written prescription, she said, forcing her doctor to call it in to another pharmacy. "I left the store feeling mortified". Hall had just left the doctor's office eager to receive the medication that she said would finally "affirm my identity". Hall eventually filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy on Thursday.

Hilde Hall says her local Fountain Hills CVS humiliated her in front of other customers on a day that should have been filled with joy. The office staff tried to intervene by calling the pharmacist, but he still refused to fill my prescription without explicitly explaining why.

Under Arizona law, pharmacists may refuse to fill a prescription based on their moral values.

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CVS spokesman DeAngelis apologized for the company's unresponsiveness to Hall's complaints about her treatment.

"After years of working to affirm my identity in a world where transgender people are questioned constantly about how well they know themselves, the pharmacist refused to fill one of the prescriptions needed to affirm my identity", she said.

It was the first time she received a prescription for the hormone therapy. The company apologized on social media Friday, noting that the pharmacist is also no longer employed by CVS.

"I think now that this is on people's radar, they're more willing to talk about it", he said. She said she chose the medication instead of undergoing an invasive medical procedure. The pharmacy isn't required to transfer refused prescriptions, but companies may make workplace polices that require referrals. The pharmacist said it was against his personal beliefs.

According to the ACLU, Hall said Friday that she had spoken with a CVS representative, who also apologized on behalf of the company, and appreciated the company for taking "her experience seriously". DeAngelis said CVS was discussing ways to reinforce its guide for helping LGBTQ patients.

Walgreens policy requires pharmacists who morally object to filling a prescription to refer it to another pharmacist or manager "in a timely manner", which Arteaga's pharmacist did not do.

Companies often have individual policies to ensure customers are still served respectfully and efficiently.

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