CVS apologizes to transgender woman denied medication

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

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

"On a recent day in April, I left my doctor's office elated. I was carrying my first prescriptions for hormone therapy", she writes on the ACLU's website.

"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.

'I left the store feeling mortified, ' Hall wrote. "He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions", Hall wrote, adding that she was "embarrassed and distressed".

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. When no one addressed her concerns, she made a decision to file a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy on Thursday.

CVS posted its response on Twitter, apologizing to Hall and saying the pharmacist was no longer employed by the company. "The conduct of the pharmacist, who is no longer employed by CVS, violated company policies and does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care", the statement read.

News of the encounter comes weeks after another woman, Nicole Arteaga, was denied her miscarriage medication at a Walgreens pharmacy in the Phoenix suburb of Peoria.

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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.

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

According to CVS, The pharmacist has since been fired.

Hall declined to take legal action against CVS after she received an apology. "But many other transgender people are not as fortunate as I am".

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

Kam Gandhi, executive director at the board, said that the agency hasn't talked to Arteaga or the pharmacist yet, but will aim to do a full investigation before the board's next meeting in August, Gandhi said.

Arteaga's doctor had ordered the drugs to terminate a pregnancy that she wanted very much after the fetus was found without a heartbeat. Hall said a local Walgreens eventually filled the prescription.

It was unclear late Thursday whether CVS has a similar policy. He said the company learned of Hall's post Thursday and spoke with her Friday to apologize directly.

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