CVS pharmacist fired for refusing to fill hormone prescription for trans woman

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Hilde Hall, a transgender woman, says a CVS pharmacist refused to fill her hormone medication and loudly questioned her in front of other customers.

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. I didn't want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor.

That's when my day took a turn.

The pharmacist refused to give her back the written prescription, she said, forcing her doctor to call it in to another pharmacy.

"He did not give me a clear reason for the refusal", Hall said in the complaint. The pharmacist "kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions", Hall wrote.

Hall, on April 24, went straight from her doctor's office to the pharmacy, prescriptions in hand.

CVS Health, the parent company of the chain of CVS Pharmacy stores, confirmed Friday the pharmacist had been fired after a customer complained that the pharmacist refused to fill her hormone therapy prescription.

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

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'.

CVS spokesman DeAngelis apologized for the company's unresponsiveness to Hall's complaints about her treatment.

"Measures should be in place to ensure no other customer is humiliated like I was", she said.

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

In an apology statement, CVS said the man's conduct "violated company policies and does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care".

Hall wrote that her experience at a CVS in Fountain Hills was embarrassing and distressing.

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

DeAngelis said the company did not appropriately respond to Hall's complaint because of an "unintentional oversight".

'Obviously it's a sensitive matter, and we have to approach it delicately, ' 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. She said she chose the medication instead of undergoing an invasive medical procedure. Arizona pharmacists are required to notify the company in advance about any religious convictions so CVS can make other arrangements to ensure a patient's needs are met, DeAngelis added.

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

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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