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

22 July 2018

Hilde Hall, a transgender woman, says a CVS pharmacist refused to fill her hormone medication and loudly questioned her in front of other customers. The pharmacist "kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions", Hall wrote.

"I almost started crying in the middle of the store", she recalled. 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 said she was "elated" when she left her doctor's office April 24 with three prescriptions.

After departing the store, Hall called the CVS customer service line twice to no avail, she said.

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

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

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

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". Her doctor was able to get the prescription filled at a local Walgreens.

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.

"Measures should be in place to ensure no other customer is humiliated like I was", she said. The woman had been prescribed misoprostol, a drug also used in medication abortion, after learning that her wanted pregnancy had stopped developing.

We also apologize for not appropriately following up on Ms. Hall's original complaint to CVS, which was due to an unintentional oversight.

AZ Central pointed out that Arizona "allows pharmacies and pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription on religious or moral grounds".

An example of sex discrimination, according to an Obama administration training guide issued in 2016, would be a pharmacist not providing a flu vaccine to a woman and questioning her on her non-gender-conforming appearance.

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.

People walk by a CVS pharmacy on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.

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.

'Obviously it's a sensitive matter, and we have to approach it delicately, ' he said.

Walgreens said it had apologized to Arteaga over how the situation was handled.

Walgreens pharmacists are allowed under a company policy to walk away from filling a prescription if they have a moral objection, the company said in a June statement. He said the company learned of Hall's post Thursday and spoke with her Friday to apologize directly.

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