Trans woman denied hormones by CVS pharmacist

ACLU of Arizona

ACLU of Arizona

The accused pharmacist is no longer employed by CVS, according to DeAngelis.

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

"My family supports me, fortunately, and helped me work through the anger and humiliation this experience caused", she wrote.

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

In her post, Hall says the pharmacist would not give her back the prescription note, so she was unable to take it to another pharmacy to be filled.

"Embarrassed and distressed, I almost started crying in the middle of the store", she said in the statement.

"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.

Her elation quickly turned to anxiety when the pharmacist refused to fill her prescription and humiliated her in front of other customers, she said.

CVS Health apologized for the incident on Friday in a statement to The Hill.

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In a blog post on the ACLU website, Hall wrote that she left her doctor's office one day in April with her hormone prescription, excited to become the woman she always knew she was. The company said the employee had been fired, but did not disclose if it happened immediately or after media reports on the incident.

CVS said the employee was sacked, and added it had not responded to Hall's complaints because of "an unintentional oversight". Feeling as though she had no other options, she then filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy on Thursday, according to the ACLU. But the pharmacist would be required to notify the company in advance so it could ensure that the patient would promptly receive the medicine.

ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Joshua Block said the assurances from the pharmacy chain are important at a moment in time when the Trump administration has signaled its intent to roll back health care protections for transgender and non-binary individuals.

Even though CVS claims the pharmacist violated company policy, Arizona law states that pharmacists are allowed to refuse to fill a prescription for moral or religious reasons so long as they inform their workplace about their "religious convictions" ahead of time, the Arizona Republic reported. "Hilde said she was almost in tears by how the pharmacist was treating her, and no one should face that kind of judgment".

It marked her first round of hormone therapy. No healthcare worker should rely on personal beliefs to reject decisions made by doctors and their transgender patients about medically necessary care.

Ultimately, a local Walgreens filled the prescription without question.

I went straight from my doctor to the CVS in my town, Fountain Hills, Arizona, which is a suburb of Phoenix.

Through training and written policies, the company needs to make it clear to their employees - especially their pharmacists - that transgender customers deserve respect. The situation embarrassed her and cost the pharmacist his job.

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