Published: Tue, July 24, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

CVS apologizes to transgender woman for prescription denial

CVS apologizes to transgender woman for prescription denial

CVS has apologized after a pharmacist at one of its Arizona locations refused to fulfill a hormone therapy prescription for a transgender woman. Hall wrote, "I left the store feeling mortified".

Hall said even her doctor's office was unable to persuade the pharmacist to fill the prescription.

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

On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union published a blog post written by Hilde Hall in which she described the emotionally disturbing event that took place in April.

Hall wrote that she's lucky that her family and friends accept and support who she is.

"CVS Health extends its honest 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.

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

"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", she said. "I just froze and worked on holding back the tears".

Hall, 25, said a CVS pharmacist refused to fill one of the prescriptions, did not provide a reason and then declined to return her doctor's prescription note.

Hall has also filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy, according to The Republic.

In a statement to CNN, CVS Health said the pharmacist violated its policies and is no longer employed by the company.

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"We also apologize for not appropriately following up on Ms. Hall's original complaint to CVS, which was due to an unintentional oversight", the statement added. Hall's doctor's office sent a new prescription to a Walgreens, where it was filled.

"This was the first time that she was starting with this medication", said Steve Kilar with ACLU Arizona. Since her story was posted on the ACLU website, Hall has spoken with a CVS representative about the incident.

"Hilde hopes that CVS will make its nondiscrimination policies public, so that transgender and non-binary customers have some assurance the corporation will take appropriate action if similar discrimination occurs in the future", Kilar said.

Hall's incident comes as the Trump Administration is moving to roll back protections for transgender people in healthcare.

"CVS Health extends its honest 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. The pharmacist said it was against his personal beliefs. In January, the Department of Health and Human Services began moving to implement protections for healthcare workers seeking to deny service to transgender people based on moral and religious objections.

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