Transgender community reacts to CVS's apology after prescription denial

ACLU of Arizona

ACLU of Arizona

A transgender woman has spoken out after being denied access to her prescribed hormones by a pharmacist in Arizona.

Hilde Hall, a transgender woman, says a CVS pharmacist refused to fill her hormone medication and loudly questioned her in front of other customers.

In her essay, Hall explained why she didn't want to engage with the pharmacist.

Hilde Hall, who detailed the incident in a blog post published on ACLU's website on Thursday, said she was elated after she received her first prescription for hormone therapy from the doctor.

The pharmacist wouldn't give the prescriptions back to her, Hall wrote, so she had to ask her doctor to call them in to another pharmacy. The office staff tried to intervene by calling the pharmacist, but he still refused to fill my prescription without explicitly explaining why.

Kilar said the ACLU's objective in helping publicize Hall's experience was ensuring that CVS makes clear to customers that it will not tolerate discrimination from employees on the basis of gender identity. 'I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers'.

Hall said she has filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.

"CVS Health extends its honest apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring", Mike DeAngelis, Senior Director of Corporate Communications for CVS, said.

Mike DeAngelis, Senior Director of Corporate Communications for CVS, told Arizona Central that the pharmacist no longer works for the company and that his actions do 'not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care'.

In a statement to CNN, CVS Health said the pharmacist violated its policies and is no longer employed by the company.

Despite Hall's repeated attempts to contact CVS customer service to resolve the problem and get satisfaction, she says the company ignored her entirely.

Hall has decided not to take legal action against the company, after receiving an apology Friday from CVS. My doctor ended up having to call the prescription into the local Walgreens, where the medication was filled without question.

Arizona is one of six states with "conscience clauses" to protect pharmacists who do not wish to fill prescriptions on moral or religious grounds, according to the National Women's Law Center. The company blamed that on an "unintentional oversight". The woman had been prescribed misoprostol, a drug also used in medication abortion, after learning that her wanted pregnancy had stopped developing. She said she chose the medication instead of undergoing an invasive medical procedure.

"There's a good portion of people who still think like that or along the lines of, it's just not right in their eyes", she said. 'At the same time, they are also required to refer the prescription to another pharmacist or manager on duty to meet the patient's needs in a timely manner'. The law doesn't require the pharmacy to transfer the order, but company policies can vary, according to the Arizona Republic.

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