CVS apologizes to transgender woman for prescription denial

24 July, 2018, 21:42 | Author: Jared Lewis
  • CVS pharmacist fired after refusing to fill transgender woman's hormone prescription | TheHill

A CVS pharmacist was sacked this week after he refused to refill a transgender woman's prescription.

"I left my doctor's office elated", she wrote.

"My doctor ended up having to call the prescription into the local Walgreens, where the medication was filled without question", Hall said. Hall had just left the doctor's office eager to receive the medication that she said would finally "affirm my identity".

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

Hall wrote that her experience at a CVS in Fountain Hills was embarrassing and distressing. I didn't want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor.

"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.

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She said she "froze" and tried to hold back her tears.

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. On Thursday, Hall said she chose to file a complaint to the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy saying something needed to be done.

CVS responded to the situation in a statement on Friday, stating that the pharmacist was no longer employed by the chain because he had violated its company policies.

A CVS spokesperson, Michael J. DeAngelis, said in a statement Friday that the pharmacist's conduct "does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care".

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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 company said in its statement.

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After the encounter, Hall asked the pharmacist again for her prescription back but he refused once more. Since her story was posted on the ACLU website, Hall has spoken with a CVS representative about the incident. She was able to fill the prescription at Walgreen's with no problem, she said.

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

Arizona and five other states-including Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota-have laws on the books protecting pharmacists who refuse to fill certain prescriptions based on their religious beliefs.

DeAngelis said the pharmacist was no longer employed at CVS, but he would not clarify whether the pharmacist was sacked after the company learned about Hall's encounter.

Steve Kilar, a spokesman for the civil liberties union in Arizona, said Hall had filed a complaint with the organization in May after she was having trouble getting a response from CVS.

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