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CVS fired pharmacist who denied trans woman her hormone prescriptions

CVS fired pharmacist who denied trans woman her hormone prescriptions

Trans woman Hilde Hall standing outside a CVS pharmacy

When Hilde Hall walked into her local CVS pharmacy in Phoenix, Arizona, to get her hormone prescriptions, she had no idea she was going to face some transphobic attitude.

The pharmacist refused to fill Hall’s hormone prescriptions, trying to out her as a transgender in front of other customers.

The incident dates back to 24 April 2018. However, Hall only detailed her encounter with the pharmacist in a blog post published on the American Civil Liberties Union ACLU of Arizona’s website last week.

Following her heartfelt account, Hall decided to file a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy. The American pharmacy retail company apologized and later fired the pharmacist.

The pharmacist refused to fill one of the hormone prescriptions

‘On a recent day in April, I left my doctor’s office elated. I was carrying my first prescriptions for hormone therapy,’ Hall recalled in her post.

‘I went straight from my doctor to the CVS in my town, Fountain Hills, Arizona, which is a suburb of Phoenix […]. That’s when my day took a turn.’

‘After years of working to affirm my identity in a world where transgender people are questioned constantly about how well they know themselves, the pharmacist refused to fill one of the prescriptions needed to affirm my identity.

‘I nearly started crying in the middle of the store’

Hilde Hall
Hilde Hall. | Photo: ACLU of Arizona/Special for The Republic

The woman also explained the pharmacist did not give her a clear reason for the refusal. She said he just kept asking loudly why her doctor gave her those hormone prescriptions.

‘Embarrassed and distressed, I nearly started crying in the middle of the store. I didn’t want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor.’

CVS apologized to the woman and sacked the pharmacist

CVS Health, which boasted a perfect score in 2018 Corporate Equality Index, apologized to Hall.

According to ACLU of Arizona, CVS offered a sincere apology on behalf of the company. They also said that the pharmacist who mistreated Hilde acted outside of the company’s guidelines. He was later fired.

In Arizona, pharmacists can refuse to fill a prescription on religious or moral grounds

Arizona is one of six states that allows pharmacies and pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription on religious or moral grounds.

CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis did not directly comment on why the company fired the pharmacist as the person was not in violation of state law.

‘We have policies in place to ensure no patient is ever denied access to medication prescribed by a physician based on a pharmacist’s individual religious or moral beliefs,’ DeAngelis told Gay Star News.

Technically, under state law, the company must accommodate any religious convictions that prevent a pharmacist from filling specific medications.

DeAngelis also said: ‘In such instances, the pharmacist needs to notify us in advance about such a religious conviction. This way we can ensure there are other arrangements in place to satisfy the patient’s medication needs promptly.’

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