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Pharmacist Fired for Refusing to Fill Transgender Woman's Hormone Prescription

22 July 2018

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.

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

"He did not give me a clear reason for the refusal".

Hilde Hall said she had been prescribed the medication by a hormone expert prior to visiting the pharmacist, at CVS pharmacy, where she was questioned her loudly in front of other customers.

Hall says when she arrived at the store, the pharmacist refused to fill her prescription.

Hall says she later called her doctor's office, who tried to intervene and get the prescription filled, but the pharmacist refused once again.

Hall said she was "elated" when she left her doctor's office April 24 with three prescriptions. So, she made a decision to file a complaint to the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy on Thursday, insisting something had to be done.

"CVS Health extends its honest apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring", said the statement.

The pharmacist violated CVS policies and "does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, non-discrimination, and the delivery of outstanding patient care".

In June, a pharmacist at a Peoria Walgreens, based on ethical beliefs, refused to fill a woman's prescription for a medication to induce a miscarriage.

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A pharmacist working for CVS in Arizona refused to fill a trans woman's hormone prescription and is no longer employed by the company, according to statements released from the woman, Hilde Hall, on Thursday and the company on Friday.

"There isn't a similar statute in Arizona that allows pharmacists to refuse service related to other medications", Kilar said.

Eventually, Hall got her prescription filled at a local Walgreens without a problem. The situation embarrassed her and cost the pharmacist his job. She said she felt like the CVS pharmacist was "trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers".

CVS apologized to Hall for the delay, saying in its statement that no one had previously contacted her due to "an unintentional oversight".

Hall called the CVS complaint line many times, but "no one has addressed my concerns or offered me an apology".

"So far what I have experienced is a lot of dirty looks and a lot of some people spitefully using the wrong pronouns", Inderrinden said.

After the incident, Walgreens said it would begin extra staff training.

Kam Gandhi, executive director at the board, said that the agency hasn't talked to Arteaga or the pharmacist yet, but will aim to do a full investigation before the board's next meeting in August, Gandhi said. Since her story was posted on the ACLU website, Hall has spoken with a CVS representative about the incident.

Companies often have individual policies to ensure customers are still served respectfully and efficiently.

Pharmacist Fired for Refusing to Fill Transgender Woman's Hormone Prescription