CVS fires Fountain Hills pharmacist who denied hormone prescription to transgender woman

Hilde Hall

Hilde Hall

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

An Arizona transgender woman says a CVS pharmacist refused to fill her hormone prescription.

"He did not give me a clear reason for the refusal", Hall said in the complaint.

Hall said she was mortified and distressed, adding that the pharmacist wouldn't hand the prescription note back to her so she could take it to another drugstore.

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

Before writing her post, she said her concerns had not been addressed by CVS despite multiple calls to company's corporate complaint line.

The company apologized on social media Friday saying the pharmacist is no longer an employee.

Hilde Hall, the transgender woman, detailed her encounter with the pharmacist at the Fountain Hills location in a blog post published on the ACLU of Arizona's website Thursday. The company said the employee had been fired, but did not disclose if it happened immediately or after media reports on the incident.

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".

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An Arizona woman last month filed a complaint with the state pharmacy board after a Walgreens pharmacist in a Phoenix suburb refused to fill her miscarriage-related prescription on moral grounds, the Arizona Republic reported. "In such instances, the pharmacist is required to notify us in advance about such a religious conviction, so that we can ensure there are other arrangements in place to ensure the patient's medication needs are promptly satisfied", he said in an email.

All CVS pharmacy staff are made aware of the policies through internal communications and training, according to DeAngelis.

But Steve Kilar, spokesperson for the ACLU of Arizona, told Rewire.News that "the Arizona law that allows pharmacists to refuse service to customers pertains only to abortion and emergency contraception medicine, which is not what Hilde was seeking". "Hilde said she was almost in tears by how the pharmacist was treating her, and no one should face that kind of judgment".

Walgreens pharmacists are allowed under a company policy to walk away from filling a prescription if they have a moral objection, the company said in a June statement.

"I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers", Hall wrote.

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.

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

DeAngelis said the pharmacist was no longer employed at CVS, but he would not clarify whether the pharmacist was sacked after the company learned about Hall's encounter.

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