CVS said Friday it fired a pharmacist accused of refusing to fill a hormone prescription for a transgender customer at a Phoenix-area store. She said she chose the medication instead of undergoing an invasive medical procedure.
Hall wrote that she's lucky that her family and friends accept and support who she is.
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".
The pharmacist refused to give her back the written prescription, she said, forcing her doctor to call it in to another pharmacy.
"Embarrassed and distressed, I almost started crying in the middle of the store", 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", she said.
She says the pharmacist refused to fill the prescription with other customers within earshot and she left the location in tears with her seven-year-old child by her side.
Following the incident at CVS, Hall contacted her doctors who called the pharmacist but she says he refused to explain why he wouldn't fill the prescription.
Hilde Hall said she filed an administrative complaint Thursday with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy because she was discriminated against for being transgender, according to a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The company said the employee had been fired, but did not disclose if it happened immediately or after media reports on the incident. The conduct of the pharmacist, who is no longer employed by CVS, violated company policies and does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care.
"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.
In addition to the blog post, Hall also filed a complaint with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy on Thursday to urge them to take action against CVS. She was able to fill the prescription at Walgreen's with no problem, she said.
It marked her first round of hormone therapy.
Hall said she was humiliated during the encounter, and believed that the pharmacist was trying to out her as a transgender woman.
Arizona is one of six states that has a law allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions that violate their religious or moral beliefs. 'At the same time, they are also required to refer the prescription to another pharmacist or manager on duty to meet the patient's needs in a timely manner'.
DeAngelis said the pharmacist was no longer employed at CVS, but he would not clarify whether the pharmacist was sacked after the company learned about Hall's encounter. So, she was unable to take it to another pharmacy.
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