An Arizona transgender woman has accused a CVS pharmacist of refusing to fill her hormone therapy prescriptions.
Hilde Hall had gotten her first hormone therapy prescription from her doctor in April and immediately took it to a CVS Pharmacy in Fountain Hill to have it filled. The pharmacist allegedly questioned her in front of other customers as to why her doctor prescribed the medication, Hall wrote in a blog post published Thursday on the Arizona ACLU website.
Arizona is one of six states that has a law allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions that violate their religious or moral beliefs. The law doesn't require the pharmacy to transfer the order, but company policies can vary, according to the Arizona Republic.
Hall said she was "elated" when she left her doctor's office April 24 with three prescriptions.
"I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I've always known myself to be," she wrote.
Hall gave the prescriptions to the pharmacist, but he refused to "fill one of the prescriptions needed to affirm my identity."
She said she "froze" and tried to hold back her tears.
"I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers," Hall wrote.
The pharmacist allegedly refused to return the paper with the prescriptions.
Her doctor's office tried to intervene, but to no avail, so the physicians sent a new prescription to a local Walgreens where the pharmacist filled it without question, according to Hall.
The transgender woman filed a complaint with CVS, which she said went ignored.
What did CVS say?
On Friday, CVS Health apologized about the incident in an emailed statement to The Republic.
"CVS Health extends its sincere apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring," Mike DeAngelis, Senior Director of Corporate Communications for CVS, said.
The pharmacist violated CVS policies and "does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, non-discrimination, and the delivery of outstanding patient care."
The accused pharmacist is no longer employed by CVS, according to DeAngelis.
"We also apologize for not appropriately following up on Ms. Hall's original complaint to CVS, which was due to an unintentional oversight," DeAngelis said in the email.
DeAngelo added that CVS is making arrangements to speak with Hall.
Hall has also filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy, according to The Republic.
(H/T: Arizona Republic)