CVS Pharmacist Fired After Refusing to Fill Trans Woman's Prescription

People walk by a CVS Pharmacy store in the Manhattan borough of New York City New York on Nov. 30 2017. Shannon Stapleton  Reuters file

People walk by a CVS Pharmacy store in the Manhattan borough of New York City New York on Nov. 30 2017. Shannon Stapleton Reuters file

An Arizona CVS Pharmacist was sacked after refusing to fill transgender woman's hormone therapy prescription.

"My doctor ended up having to call the prescription into the local Walgreens, where the medication was filled without question", Hall said.

"I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I've always known myself to be", she wrote.

But when she gave her prescription to the pharmacist, he denied her the medication without giving a reason, she wrote.

"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.

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"I almost started crying in the middle of the store". I handed over the three prescriptions that my doctor, who specializes in hormone therapy, had just given me. She said she felt like the CVS pharmacist was "trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers".

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.

After Hill's doctor called the CVS to explain the prescription, the pharmacist still refused, Hill said.

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.

CVS Health apologized for the incident on Friday in a statement to The Hill.

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The employee's conduct "does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care", CVS said.

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CVS said the employee was sacked, and added it had not responded to Hall's complaints because of "an unintentional oversight". The office staff tried to intervene by calling the pharmacist, but he still refused to fill my prescription without explicitly explaining why.

"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. Hall says she wants CVS to apologize.

Steve Kilar, a spokesman for the civil liberties union in Arizona, said Hall had filed a complaint with the organization in May after she was having trouble getting a response from CVS.

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Meanwhile, those in the LGBTQ community say it's a step in the right direction, but sadly the pharmacist's actions were not surprising. Hall told her doctor's office about the situation with CVS and the office staff reached out to the pharmacy. The law doesn't require the pharmacy to transfer the order, but company policies can vary, according to the Arizona Republic. Trump now has plans to roll back a policy that protects transgender and non-binary people from discrimination in the health care industry.

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