Published: Wed, July 25, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

CVS apologizes for refusing to fill transgender woman's prescription

CVS apologizes for refusing to fill transgender woman's prescription

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

Hilde Hall said in a blog post published on the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) website that she was excited to fill her first hormone therapy prescription.

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

Although Hall acknowledged that CVS had received a flawless score from the Human Rights Campaign for its policies related to LGBTQ equality ― a fact also touted in the company's statement ― she said "measures should be in place to ensure no other customer is humiliated like I was".

Hall added that the experience left him feeling "embarrassed and stressed" to the point where he nearly broke down crying in the store.

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

"I left my doctor's office elated", she wrote in the blog post.

Hall said he was eventually able to fill the prescription at a Walgreens pharmacy location, but claimed CVS's corporate complaint line ignored his complaints multiple times.

On Friday, one day after Hall shared her story publicly, CVS announced that the pharmacist who allegedly harassed her is no longer employed with the company.

In Hall's case, she said she complained to CVS, and never got an apology.

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

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". The office called the CVS for Hall to get the prescription filled but again the pharmacist refused.

"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.

Ultimately, a local Walgreens filled the prescription without question. I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers.

However, when went to a CVS in her hometown of Fountain Hills, Arizona, to fill the script, she was shocked by what came next. Hall told her doctor's office about the situation with CVS and the office staff reached out to the pharmacy.

Hall said the pharmacist wouldn't return the prescription note.

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

DeAngelo added they were making arrangements Friday to speak with Hall.

Arteaga's doctor had ordered the drugs to terminate a pregnancy that she wanted very much after the fetus was found without a heartbeat. Instead, he loudly questioned why she needed the medication and berated her in front of other customers.

Hall said she hopes CVS also will take action and apologize for the way she was treated. "Is there a company policy that he refused to follow?" said Gibson.

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