Transgender community reacts to CVS's apology after prescription denial

Transgender community reacts to CVS's apology after prescription denial

A transgender woman has spoken out after being denied access to her prescribed hormones by a pharmacist in Arizona.

In a recent essay for the ACLU, Hilde Hall, a trans woman living in Arizona, details how she was discriminated against by a pharmacist when she went to get her prescriptions filled at her local CVS.

Hilde Hall wrote a blog post on Thursday for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) describing how a CVS pharmacist in Fountain Hills, Ariz., refused to fill her prescription for hormone therapy in April.

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 wrote that the pharmacist repeatedly and loudly asked her why she needed the prescriptions, which almost brought her to tears. When no one addressed her concerns, she chose to file a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy on Thursday.

Hall wrote that she's lucky that her family and friends accept and support who she is. I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers.

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".

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

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

CVS posted its response on Twitter, apologizing to Hall and saying the pharmacist was no longer employed by the company.

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Hall said she contacted CVS' corporate office many times to complain about the incident but said nothing was done.

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

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

ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Joshua Block said the assurances from the pharmacy chain are important at a moment in time when the Trump administration has signaled its intent to roll back health care protections for transgender and non-binary individuals. On Thursday, Hall said she chose to file a complaint to the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy saying something needed to be done.

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.

Based on federal and some state laws, CVS does allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill specific medications if doing so would violate the person's religious convictions, DeAngelis said.

It was unclear late Thursday whether CVS has a similar policy.

In her essay, Hall explained why she didn't want to engage with the pharmacist.

We are very proud to have earned a ideal score on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for the past four consecutive years for our policies and practices related to LGBTQ equality.

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