A CVS pharmacist in Arizona was fired after he refused to fill a transgender woman’s hormone prescription.
Hilde Hall says she went straight from her doctor’s office in April to a CVS pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Ariz., eager to fill her first hormone therapy prescription, according to a blog post she wrote for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I’ve always known myself to be,” she said.
Her excitement quickly turned to distress when the CVS pharmacist refused to fill her prescription and humiliated her in front of other customers, she wrote.
“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,” Hall wrote.
“He did not give me a clear reason for the refusal,” Hall added. “He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions.”
Hall said she was “embarrassed and distressed” and almost started crying in the middle of the store.
“When I asked for my doctor’s prescription note, the pharmacist refused to give it back, so I was not even able to take it to another pharmacy to have my prescription filled,” Hall wrote. “I left the store feeling mortified.”
She continued: “When I got home, I called my doctor’s office to explain what happened. The office staff tried to intervene by calling the pharmacist, but he still refused to fill my prescription without explicitly explaining why. My doctor ended up having to call the prescription into the local Walgreens, where the medication was filled without question. I transferred all of my prescriptions there so that I never again have to see the pharmacist who discriminated against me. I have contacted CVS’ corporate complaint line multiple times, but no one has addressed my concerns or offered me an apology.”
CVS Health has since apologized for the incident on Friday in a statement to The Hill.
“CVS Health extends its sincere apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring,” said the statement.
CVS said the employee was fired and said he had violated the company’s policies and “does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care.”