A CVS pharmacist in Arizona was fired after he refused to refill a transgender woman's prescribed hormones, reports The Hill.
"He did not give me a clear reason for the refusal,” the patient, Hilde Hall, wrote in a blog post for the American Civil Liberties Union. “He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions.” Hall says she felt "embarrassed and distressed" and nearly broke into tears in the middle of the store.
“When I asked for my doctor’s prescription note, the pharmacist refused to give it back," she says, "so I was not even able to take it to another pharmacy to have my prescription filled.” After Hall "left the store feeling mortified," she contacted her doctor's office but even they could not convince the rogue pharmacist to fill the prescription. She later got the prescription filled by a Walgreens pharmacy instead.
The incident was particularly upsetting for Hall because it was the first time she received a prescription for hormone therapy.
“I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity,” she wrote, "and the woman I’ve always known myself to be."
Hall says she called CVS's corporate complaint line multiple times but was ignored. The pharmacy finally issued a statement to The Hill, saying failing to respond to Hall's complaints was "an unintentional oversight."
"CVS Health extends its sincere apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring," the statement read. CVS also announced the pharmacist was fired, saying he “does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care.”
On Thursday, Hall filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy, asking that the pharmacy publicly take action and apologize. “Measures should be in place to ensure no other customer is humiliated like I was,” she said.