Arizona Pharmacist Denies Trans Woman Her Prescriptions

Penning a personal essay for the ACLU, Hilde Hall shared a sad turn of events on what began as one of the happiest days of her life.

Hall, a transgender woman, left her doctor’s office this past April with her first prescriptions for hormone therapy as she was about to begin the journey to seeing her body reflect her gender identity.

Excited, Hall drove directly to the local CVS pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix.

After handing over the three prescriptions from her doctor, a hormone therapy specialist, she was informed the pharmacist refused to fill one necessary to affirm her gender identity.

Without any specified reason, according to Hall, the pharmacist “kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions.”

Embarrassed, Hall says she became distressed and nearly began to cry right there in the store.

“I didn’t want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor,” writes Hall. “I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers. I just froze and worked on holding back the tears.”

To make matters even worse, when Hall asked for the written prescriptions from the pharmacist so she could leave, he refused to return the written script.

Hall was forced to call her doctor’s office to intervene. But, according to reports, the pharmacist wouldn’t return the prescriptions without being told EXACTLY why the medication had been ordered.

In her essay, Hall shares she left the CVS store ‘feeling mortified.’

Eventually, the prescriptions were transferred to a Walgreens pharmacy where the meds were filled ‘without question.’

Hall adds that, after the insulting episode, she moved all of her prescriptions from CVS to Walgreens “so that I never again have to see the pharmacist who discriminated against me.”

She contacted CVS’ corporate complaint line several times but didn’t no one addressed her concerns initially.

It was after filing a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy that CVS responded.

"CVS Health extends its sincere apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring," said in a statement to The Hill.

According to CVS, the employee had been dismissed, and assured Hall that it had not responded due to "an unintentional oversight."

The company indicated the former employees attitude did not “reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care,” CVS said.

It's important to note that this isn't a cautionary tale for just transgender people.

This easily could have been the case of a pharmacist refusing to fill a prescription for Truvada or "PrEP." Or refusing to refill a birth control script.

At Walgreens, pharmacists are allowed to step down from filling scripts they find don't align with their personal religious beliefs, but at least there is a company policy requiring another pharmacist step in to accommodate the customer's needs.

This CVS pharmacist wouldn't even return the written paper scripts. This was a guy taking out his own personal agenda against an innocent trans woman.

 

9 thoughts on “Arizona Pharmacist Denies Trans Woman Her Prescriptions”

  1. Getting through the pharmacy

    Getting through the pharmacy checkout at CVS is like getting through customs.  This whole litany of questions and then all these instructions for the payment machine.  Several customer service people have become a bit tense having to do all of this and, God forbid if you make an error while processing your payment.  I've also noticed a bit of annoyance from some pharmacists if there is a question or a problem.

    I will also be checking Walgreen's for prices.  It seems that the prices on everything else in CVS, forward of the pharmacy, have doubled or more.  Absolutely ridiculous prices for some items.  Especially any food or cosmetic item.  I'm not at Neiman-Marcus.  Grocery stores, discount warehouses, and mail order options have become FAR more economical.  This is especially true for basic items such as cough medicine, acetaminophen, vitamins, candy, body washes, to name a few.  Time to shop around.

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  2. At my local CVS I have had

    At my local CVS I have had trouble with the pharmacist and even some of the techs thinking they are God's and mine are for a heart condition,Guillian-Barre' Syndrome and chronic insomnia. None are drugs that are narcotics or even addictive prescriptions.  I just stay on top of my medication as years ago after a hurricane I was without them for several days. So now I fill them on the first day they are eligible to refill. I have had them treat me and speak to me like I was a drug addict pharmacy shopping. I made a formal complaint about everything and changed to a different CVS and haven't had any issues at all since. I was told by an employee that changed locations and said that the pharmacist and two techs were given formal reprimand and the pharmacist eventually lost her job for the same reason as I complained about and she was written up for. If I had a pharmacist refuse to return my prescription the police would have been involved as well as a proctologist to get my foot out of her ass and not in the fun way. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that horrible pharmacist and I am so happy that Walgreens is now your pharmacy of choice.

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  3. I would sue. That pharmacist

    I would sue. That pharmacist's name woyld be known all over. I dislike pharmacists questioning doctors.  Its not their job!

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    • That is absolutely correct.

      That is absolutely correct.  The Supreme Court is filled with convertible ignorant bigots.  

      Vote in November!! 

      Reply
  4. There’s many issues here but

    There’s many issues here but he should have been required to return the script to her

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  5. This is wrong on so many

    This is wrong on so many levels — from the pharmacist on up through corporate. To think that it was only when the State Board got involved that CVS resonded is mind boggling. Good luck to this woman; she has a long road ahead of her and she doesn't need more grief than what she is already going through.

    More and more, I'm using the mail-order pharmacy recommended by my insurance company.Not only have I been able to set up convenient deliveries on the meds that I take regularly; but since they've seen everything, they don't ask me questions besides whether I want/need to discuss anything with the pharmacist.

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  6. I think this is a total

    I think this is a total disservice of the patient as a pharmacist is there to treat and ultimately provide medical services. Regardless of the patient’s lifestyle, belief, etc. Furthermore the pharmacist has no right to deny someone a medication if the prescription meets all of the legal parameters. Who is the pharmacist to judge if someone needs their hormone medicine? I’m glad they fired that employee as they would’ve been a bad example of CVS if they decided to keep him/her. Good riddance and hope you know what it’s like to be unemployed. 

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