Published: Mon, July 23, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

A transgender woman says a pharmacist refused to fill her hormone prescription

A transgender woman says a pharmacist refused to fill her hormone prescription

CVS Health is apologizing to a transgender woman who says she was denied a hormone prescription by a pharmacist at the drugstore chain.

In her ACLU blog, Hill said she went to the Fountain Hills, Ariz.

In her post, Hall says the pharmacist would not give her back the prescription note, so she was unable to take it to another pharmacy to be filled.

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

CVS says it has a history of supporting LGBTQ rights, helping to develop a guide for pharmacy care for gay, lesbian and transgender customers.

The pharmacist reportedly also rejected her doctor's requests to transfer the prescription to another location.

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

A transgender woman in Arizona was refused her hormone treatment medication by a CVS pharmacist.

Hall ended up getting her prescription at another pharmacy.

She said the pharmacist then proceeded to ask her questions in front of other customers, which she said left her "embarrassed and distressed".

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CVS, however, fired its employee and apologized to Hall on Friday.

"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. "His actions did not reflect the company's values or commitment to "inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care", CVS said in its statement".

Hall declined to take legal action against CVS after she received an apology.

"We also apologize for not appropriately following up on Ms. Hall's original complaint to CVS, which was due to an unintentional oversight", DeAngelis said in the email.

"She's obviously not the first person this has happened to, so the more people we can make aware of the problem, the better", he said.

In April, the Trump administration said it planned to roll back a rule issued under former president Barack Obama that prevents doctors and hospitals from discriminating against transgender people.

After the incident, Walgreens said it would begin extra staff training. Instead, he loudly questioned why she needed the medication and berated her in front of other customers.

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".

It was unclear late Thursday whether CVS has a similar policy.

"There's a good portion of people who still think like that or along the lines of, it's just not right in their eyes", she said.

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".

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