Published: Wed, July 25, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Transgender community reacts to CVS's apology after prescription denial

Transgender community reacts to CVS's apology after prescription denial

A CVS pharmacist in Arizona was sacked after he refused to fill the hormone prescription of a transgender woman.

She talked to 12 News about the incident making headlines-a transgender woman describing how a pharmacists at this CVS in Fountain Hills refused to fill her prescription for hormones.

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

Hall wrote that she was on the verge of tears while this pharmacist continually questioned her about the prescription.

Hall wrote that she was "embarrassed and distressed" and nearly started crying in the middle of the store.

Hall said she then left the CVS without her doctor's prescription note because the pharmacist refused to give it back.

When I got home, I called my doctor's office to explain what happened.

Hall said she was "elated" when she left her doctor's office April 24 with three prescriptions.

CVS Health extends its honest apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring. But in a statement to CNN, the company said the pharmacist violated company policy and is no longer an employee.

CVS pharmacist fired after refusing to fill transgender woman's hormone prescription | TheHill
Complaint: CVS Pharmacist Refused to Fill Prescription for Transgender Woman

"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.

The chain added that the pharmacist's response does not reflect its "values" or "commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care".

Hall says she later called her doctor's office, who tried to intervene and get the prescription filled, but the pharmacist refused once again.

DeAngelis said the company did not appropriately respond to Hall's complaint because of an "unintentional oversight". She was able to fill the prescription at Walgreen's with no problem, she said. "I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers", she said. I was carrying my first prescriptions for hormone therapy. In fact, CVS pharmacists were directly involved in the development of the HRC's resource guide for providing pharmacy care and services to LGBTQ patients. However, pharmacists are required under state law to inform the company "in advance about any religious convictions".

"Through training and written policies, the company needs to make it clear to their employees - especially their pharmacists - that transgender customers deserve respect", Hall wrote.

However, when went to a CVS in her hometown of Fountain Hills, Arizona, to fill the script, she was shocked by what came next. The pharmacist said it was against his personal beliefs. The woman had been prescribed misoprostol, a drug also used in medication abortion, after learning that her wanted pregnancy had stopped developing.

She claims the pharmacist loudly questioned her in front of other customers and rejected her and her doctor's requests to transfer the prescription to another location.

It was unclear late Thursday whether CVS has a similar policy. Hall made a decision to transfer all her prescriptions to Walgreens.

We are very proud to have earned a ideal score on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for the past four consecutive years for our policies and practices related to LGBTQ equality.

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