Published: Mon, July 23, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

CVS apologizes to transgender woman for prescription denial

CVS apologizes to transgender woman for prescription denial

A CVS pharmacist was sacked this week after he refused to refill a transgender woman's prescription. When she called her doctor's office to explain, the prescription was sent to a nearby Walgreens, where it was filled "without question". "I was carrying my first prescriptions for hormone therapy", she writes on the ACLU's website.

"I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I've always known myself to be", she said.

Hall says the pharmacist did not give her a reason for the refusal and he refused to give her back the doctor's prescription note so she could have it filled at another pharmacy.

Although Hall acknowledged that CVS had received a flawless score from the Human Rights Campaign for its policies related to LGBTQ equality ― a fact also touted in the company's statement ― she said "measures should be in place to ensure no other customer is humiliated like I was". The state law does not mention hormone therapy prescriptions. "I just froze and worked on holding back the tears", she wrote.

After she called her doctor's office to explain what happened and the office staff contacted the pharmacist, he continued to refuse to fill the prescription or explain why, she said.

In a redacted complaint provided to Rewire.News, Hall described trying to fill prescriptions for estradiol, spironolactone, and finasteride in April, but said the CVS pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for the hormone finasteride.

A pharmacist working for CVS in Arizona refused to fill a trans woman's hormone prescription and is no longer employed by the company, according to statements released from the woman, Hilde Hall, on Thursday and the company on Friday.

The transgender woman filed a complaint with CVS, which she said went ignored.

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Hall said she hopes CVS also will take action and apologize for the way she was treated.

The company said they didn't respond to Hall's numerous complaints due to "an unintentional oversight".

"My family supports me, fortunately, and helped me work through the anger and humiliation this experience caused", she wrote. The index ranks companies based on their policies regarding LGBTQ equality.

DeAngelo added they were making arrangements Friday to speak with Hall. "It is critical that CVS ensures no one is harassed when taking a valid prescription into one of their pharmacies".

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".

After Arteaga complained to the pharmacy board about a Walgreens pharmacist denying her a miscarriage-related prescription because of personal beliefs, the agency began an investigation. So, she chose to file a complaint to the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy on Thursday, insisting something had to be done.

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