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

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A transgender woman in Arizona has hit national pharmacy chain CVS with a complaint after she says her pharmacist refused to fill her hormone prescription this spring.

"On a recent day in April, I left my doctor's office elated". The state law does not mention hormone therapy prescriptions. "I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I've always known myself to be". "It is critical that CVS ensures no one is harassed when taking a valid prescription into one of their pharmacies", Block said.

"My family supports me, fortunately, and helped me work through the anger and humiliation this experience caused", she wrote. "He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions", Hall recalls.

Hall asked for her script back so she could get the prescription filled elsewhere, but the pharmacist refused, she said. When she called her doctor's office to explain, the prescription was sent to a nearby Walgreens, where it was filled "without question".

On Thursday, she filed a complaint against the company with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.

CVS Health released a Friday statement apologizing for the pharmacist's conduct and clarifying that the pharmacist involved "is no longer employed by CVS" for violating company policies.

CVS told CNN that the particular pharmacist, who refused to fill Hall's prescription has since been fired, the company stressing that they do not condone discrimination.

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

All CVS pharmacy staff are made aware of the policies through internal communications and training, according to DeAngelis.

Based on federal and some state laws, CVS does allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill specific medications if doing so would violate the person's religious convictions, DeAngelis said.

"I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers", Hall wrote.

"Embarrassed and distressed, I almost started crying in the middle of the store".

"Her real motivation here was to make sure people know this shouldn't happen to them and, if it does, they can take action", said Steve Kilar of the ACLU. She said she chose the medication instead of undergoing an invasive medical procedure.

It marked her first round of hormone therapy.

She says she left a complaint with a CVS corporate office several times.

Kam Gandhi, executive director at the board, said that the agency hasn't talked to Arteaga or the pharmacist yet, but will aim to do a full investigation before the board's next meeting in August, Gandhi said.

Hall gave the prescriptions to the pharmacist, but he refused to "fill one of the prescriptions needed to affirm my identity". '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'.

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