CVS Apologizes After Pharmacist Harasses Trans Customer

CVS said the pharmacist who harassed a customer is no longer employed but declined to give more specific details

SAUL LOEB via Getty Images CVS said the pharmacist who harassed a customer is no longer employed but declined to give more specific details

Hilde Hall penned a blog post on the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) website on Thursday stating that he was "humiliated" when a pharmacist at a CVS Pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona, refused to fill a hormone therapy prescription in April.

"I left the store feeling mortified", she wrote.

Hall said she went to the Fountain Hills, Arizona, CVS with her doctor's prescription on April 24.

"I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I've always known myself to be", Hall wrote.

She said the pharmacist also refused to give back her prescription note, meaning she couldn't get it filled at another pharmacy.

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.

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".

She said when she handed her three prescriptions to the pharmacist, he refused to fill one of the medications without giving a clear reason for the denial.

According to the ACLU, Hall said Friday that she had spoken with a CVS representative, who also apologized on behalf of the company, and appreciated the company for taking "her experience seriously". "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", the statement read.




Hall said even her doctor's office was unable to persuade the pharmacist to fill the prescription. Arteaga's doctor had prescribed the medication after Arteaga's child stopped developing.

Kilar said Hall's desire, as someone coming out as transgender, to make this incident public "really has been motivating".

Arizona is one of six states that allows pharmacies and pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription on religious or moral grounds.

"My family supports me, fortunately, and helped me work through the anger and humiliation this experience caused", she wrote.

We also apologize for not appropriately following up on Ms. Hall's original complaint to CVS, which was due to an unintentional oversight.

"A customer needs to know if you're ever refused medical treatment by a pharmacists, file a complaint with the state pharmacy board and with the business running the pharmacy", Kilar said.

Arteaga's doctor had ordered the drugs to terminate a pregnancy that she wanted very much after the fetus was found without a heartbeat.

Walgreens pharmacists are allowed under a company policy to walk away from filling a prescription if they have a moral objection, the company said in a June statement.

Companies often have individual policies to ensure customers are still served respectfully and efficiently. On Thursday, Hall said she chose to file a complaint to the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy saying something needed to be done.

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