CVS Pharmacist Denied my Hormone Prescription!

A transgender woman is speaking out after she said a CVS pharmacist denied her hormone prescription. The pharmacist questioned her loudly in front of other customers and rejected her and her doctor’s requests...

A transgender woman is speaking out after she said a CVS pharmacist denied her hormone prescription.

The pharmacist questioned her loudly in front of other customers and rejected her and her doctor’s requests to transfer the prescription to another location, Hilde Hall said in a blog post published Thursday on the ACLU of Arizona‘s website. The national ACLU site, which also published the same item at midday Thursday, has been down for more than a day and a half, shortly after it posted, according to IsItDown RightNow? 

Hilde Hall, a transgender woman, says a CVS pharmacistNews of the encounter comes weeks after another woman, Nicole Arteaga, was denied her miscarriage medication at a Walgreens pharmacy in the Phoenix suburb of Peoria. 

Arizona is one of at least six states that allows pharmacies and druggists to refuse to fill a prescription on religious or moral grounds. The pharmacy isn’t required to transfer refused prescriptions, but companies may make workplace polices that require referrals.

Hall said the prescription marked her first round of hormone therapy.

“I left my doctor’s office elated,” she wrote. “I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I’ve always known myself to be.”

Hall had received three prescriptions April 24 from her doctor, who specializes in hormone therapy, she said.

But when she gave them to the pharmacist at a CVS in this Phoenix suburb, he denied her the medication and didn’t give a reason, according to the post.

“He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions,” Hall wrote. “I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers.”

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.

“I left the store feeling mortified,” Hall wrote.

After she called her doctor’s office to explain what happened and the office staff contacted the pharmacist, he continued to refuse to fill the prescription or explain why, she said.

The doctor instead sent a new prescription to a local Walgreens, where it was filled without question, according to the post.

Hall then transferred all of her prescriptions to that Walgreens “so that I never again have to see the pharmacist who discriminated against me,” she wrote.

She filed a complaint with CVS after the incident but didn’t receive acknowledgement for her concerns, Hall said.

In an email statement Friday to The Arizona Republic, CVS Health apologized for the incident.

“CVS Health extends its sincere 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.

He said the pharmacist violated company policies and “does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care.”

DeAngelo confirmed that the employee no longer works for CVS.

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

DeAngelo added they were making arrangements Friday to speak with Hall.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona encouraged Hall to speak out to create change on behalf of transgender people, said Steve Kilar, ACLU of Arizona spokesman.

“She’s obviously not the first person this has happened to, so the more people we can make aware of the problem, the bettHIlde Hall Arizona transgender woman denied pharmacy prescriptioner,” he said.

But Kilar added he’s never seen an incident quite like this one.

“I think now that this is on people’s radar, they’re more willing to talk about it,” he said.

Hall said she has filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.

After Arteaga complained to the pharmacy board about a Walgreens pharmacist denying her a miscarriage-related prescription because of personal beliefs, the agency began an investigation.

Arteaga’s doctor had ordered the drugs to terminate a pregnancy that she wanted very much after the fetus was found without a heartbeat. She said she chose the medication instead of undergoing an invasive medical procedure.

Walgreens policy requires pharmacists who morally object to filling a prescription to refer it to another pharmacist or manager “in a timely manner,” which Arteaga’s pharmacist did not do.

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

Hall said she hopes CVS also will take action and apologize for the way she was treated.

“Through training and written policies, the company needs to make it clear to their employees — especially their pharmacists — that transgender customers deserve respect,” she wrote.

Source: usatoday.com 

Photo Credit: Medscape

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