Page Nav


Gradient Skin



Responsive Ad

CVS fires pharmacist who denied hormone prescription to transgender woman

CVS fires pharmacist who denied hormone prescription to transgender woman CVS fires pharmacist who denied hormone prescription to transgende...

CVS fires pharmacist who denied hormone prescription to transgender woman

CVS fires pharmacist who denied hormone prescription to transgender womanCLOSE

Steve Kilar of ACLU Arizona speaks with Republic reporter Bree Burkitt about incidents where Arizona pharmacists denied to fill women's prescriptions.

CVS has fired a pharmacist who refused to fill the prescription of a transgender woman seeking hormone medication and has apologized for the incident.

Hilde Hall, the transgender woman, detailed her encounter with the pharmacist at the Fountain Hills location in a blog post published on the ACLU of Arizona's website Thursday.

She claims the pharmacist loudly questioned her in front of other customers and rejected her and her doctor's requests to transfer the prescription to another location.

News of the encounter comes weeks after another woman, Nicole Arteaga, was denied her miscarriage medication at a Walgreens pharmacy in Peoria, Arizona.

Both pharmacists' actions were justified under Arizona law.

More: Walgreens pharmacist in Peoria denies mother miscarriage medicine due to moral objection

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

In Arteaga's case, Walgreens stood behind its employee. The pharmacy chain released a statement after the incident, saying company policy allows pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription anytime they have a moral objection.

CVS, however, fired its employee and apologized to Hall on Friday.


What are your rights at a pharmacy? In high-profile incidents, pharmacists have denied prescriptions based on their own views.

CVS: Employee violated company policy

Mike DeAngelis, CVS spokesman, said the pharmacist violated company policy by refusing to fill the prescription.

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

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

More: Was a Peoria Walgreens pharmacist legally justified in denying miscarriage medication?

All CVS pharmacy staff are made aware of the policies through internal communications and training, according to DeAngelis.

CVS declined to share the exact wording of the 12-page policy.< /p>

Hall, like Arteaga, filed a complaint with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy, according to her post. The Board did not confirm whether the incident was under investigation.


Melrose Pharmacy pharmacist Brandon Luke speaks with Republic reporter Bree Burkitt about the right of a pharmacist to refuse to fill a prescription.

Hilde Hall’s story

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

It marked her first round of hormone therapy.

"I left my doctor's office elated," she wrote in the blog post. "I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I've always known myself to be."

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

"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."

Hall said the pharmacist wouldn't return the prescription note. So, she was unable to take it to another pharmacy.

"I left the store feeling mortified," Hall wrote.

After she called her doctor's office to explain what happened, the office contacted the pharmacist, who continued to refuse to fill the prescription or explain why.

Ultimately, a local Walgreens filled the prescription without question. Hall decided to transfer all her prescriptions to Walgreens.

More: Transgender woman: A CVS pharmacist in Fountain Hills denied my hormone prescription

"Through training and written policies, the company needs to make it clear to their employees â€" especially their pharmacists â€" th at transgender customers deserve respect," Hall wrote.

Hall has decided not to take legal action against the company, after receiving an apology Friday from CVS.

"Her real motivation here was to make sure people know this shouldn't happen to them and, if it does, they can take action," said Steve Kilar of the ACLU. "I think she's achieved that."

While it's legal in Arizona, a pharmacist's refusal to fill prescriptions violates non-discrimination protections outlined in the Affordable Care Act, Kilar said.

More: Opinion: CVS pharmacist who refused transgender patient's prescription abused Arizona law

More: I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks - and a far different experience at the pharmacy

More: Arizona board to investigate complaint over pharmacist's denial of miscarriage medication

Read or Share this story: Google News US Business | Netizen 24 United States

Reponsive Ads