CVS pharmacist fired for refusing to fill hormone prescription for trans woman

A CVS pharmacy store front

New York, December 1, 2016: People walk by a CVS pharmacy on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan. Roman Tiraspolsky / Shutterstock

When Hilde Hall walked into her local CVS to fill her first prescription for hormone therapy, the pharmacist refused her service. Instead, he loudly questioned why she needed the medication and berated her in front of other customers.

“He did not give me a clear reason for the refusal,” Hall said. “He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions.”

“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. I left the store feeling mortified,” she said.

“I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I’ve always known myself to be.”

Hall’s doctor attempted to persuade the pharmacist to fill the prescription but was also rebuffed.

Despite Hall’s repeated attempts to contact CVS customer service to resolve the problem and get satisfaction, she says the company ignored her entirely. But after her story hit the media with a little help from the ACLU, the pharmacy chain is finally apologizing.

“CVS Health extends its sincere apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring,” said in a statement to The Hill. The company said the employee had been fired, but did not disclose if it happened immediately or after media reports on the incident.

The employee’s conduct “does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care,” CVS said.

The company said they didn’t respond to Hall’s numerous complaints due to “an unintentional oversight.”

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

“Measures should be in place to ensure no other customer is humiliated like I was,” she said.

 

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