CVS in Arizona Fires Employee Who Refused to Fill Hormone Prescription for Transgender Man

Hilde Hall says a CVS pharmacist denied her a hormone therapy prescription

A transgender woman is speaking out after she said a CVS pharmacist denied her hormone prescription.

The pharmacist questioned her loudly in front of other customers and rejected her and her doctor’s requests to transfer the prescription to another location, Hilde Hall said in a blog post published Thursday on the ACLU of Arizona’s website. The national ACLU site, which also published the same item at midday Thursday, has been down for more than a day and a half, shortly after it posted, according to IsItDown RightNow?

News of the encounter comes weeks after another woman, Nicole Arteaga, was denied her miscarriage medication at a Walgreens pharmacy in the Phoenix suburb of Peoria.

Arizona is one of at least six states that allows pharmacies and druggists to refuse to fill a prescription on religious or moral grounds. The pharmacy isn’t required to transfer refused prescriptions, but companies may make workplace polices that require referrals.

Hall said the prescription marked her first round of hormone therapy.

“I left my doctor’s office elated,” she wrote. “I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I’ve always known myself to be.”

Hall had received three prescriptions April 24 from her doctor, who specializes in hormone therapy, she said.

But when she gave them to the pharmacist at a CVS in this Phoenix suburb, he denied her the medication and didn’t give a reason, according to the post.

“He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions,” Hall wrote. “I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers.”

In her post, Hall says the pharmacist would not give her back the prescription note, so she was unable to take it to another pharmacy to be filled.

“I left the store feeling mortified,” Hall wrote.

After she called her doctor’s office to explain what happened and the office staff contacted the pharmacist, he continued to refuse to fill the prescription or explain why, she said.

The doctor instead sent a new prescription to a local Walgreens, where it was filled without question, according to the post.

Hall then transferred all of her prescriptions to that Walgreens “so that I never again have to see the pharmacist who discriminated against me,” she wrote.

She filed a complaint with CVS after the incident but didn’t receive acknowledgement for her concerns, Hall said.

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SOURCE: USA Today; Arizona Republic, Grace Palmieri