Transgender woman says CVS pharmacist refused to fill hormone prescription

Hilde Hall felt "elated" to finally start hormone treatment after a trip to her doctor in April ― until an Arizona pharmacist refused to fill one of her prescriptions at CVS.

On Thursday, Hilde Hall wrote a blog post on the American Civil Liberties Union website about her experience at the Fountain Hills pharmacy. I didn't want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor.

"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. "Hilde said she was almost in tears by how the pharmacist was treating her, and no one should face that kind of judgment".

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

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

But Hall hit a roadblock when she visited the CVS in Fountain HIlls, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, and gave the attending pharmacist the three prescriptions prescribed by her doctor, according to her statement.

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

CVS apologized in a statement given to CNN.

In a statement, CVS said the pharmacist "violated company policies and is no longer employed" with the company.

The apology came just weeks after a Walgreens pharmacist in Peoria, Arizona, refused to give a woman her miscarriage medication.

Arizona is one of at least six states that allows pharmacies and druggists to refuse to fill a prescription on religious or moral grounds.

Hall said she was humiliated during the encounter, and believed that the pharmacist was trying to out her as a transgender woman.

Hall called the CVS complaint line many times, but "no one has addressed my concerns or offered me an apology". Instead, he loudly questioned why she needed the medication and berated her in front of other customers.

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

It marked her first round of hormone therapy. Hall said a local Walgreens eventually filled the prescription.

"If there is an instance where a particular pharmacist has a belief that they can't fill a prescription, they need to take action right away to make sure that someone else is taking care of it", Steve Kilar, ACLU of Arizona's communications director, told CBS Arizona affiliate KPHO.

Hall said the pharmacist wouldn't return the prescription note.

Employees are required, however, to have another pharmacist or manager handle the prescription so that the patient's needs are met "in a timely manner".

An example of sex discrimination, according to an Obama administration training guide issued in 2016, would be a pharmacist not providing a flu vaccine to a woman and questioning her on her non-gender-conforming appearance. "Is there a company policy that he refused to follow?" said Gibson.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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