CVS fires pharmacist who wouldn't fill transgender customer's prescription

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CVS has apologized after a pharmacist at one of its Arizona locations refused to fulfill a hormone therapy prescription for a transgender woman. "I left the store feeling mortified".

Hall's doctor attempted to persuade the pharmacist to fill the prescription but was also rebuffed. In an article posted to ACLU's website Thursday, Hall wrote about how she was at the point where she would soon start seeing her body reflect her gender identity.

But when she gave her prescription to the pharmacist, he denied her the medication without giving a reason, she wrote.

'He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions, ' Hall wrote in her ACLU blog.

"I almost started crying in the middle of the store". I didn't want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor.

Hall said she was humiliated during the encounter, and believed that the pharmacist was trying to out her as a transgender woman.

Arizona is one of six states that shield health professionals who refuse to serve customers or patients on religious or moral grounds, according to the National Women's Law Center.

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Hall, like Arteaga, filed a complaint with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy, according to her post. CVS said in part that the pharmacist's actions did not reflect the company's values or commitment to inclusion.

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"We also apologize for not appropriately following up on Ms. Hall's original complaint to CVS, which was due to an unintentional oversight, " the company added in its statement.

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

Hall ended up getting her prescription filled at a local Walgreens, "where the medication was filled without question", she wrote.

Hall said she called her doctor when she got home explaining the situation.

"CVS Health extends its honest apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring", the company said.

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DeAngelo confirmed that the employee no longer works for CVS.

Hall's incident comes as the Trump Administration is moving to roll back protections for transgender people in healthcare.

After the incident, Walgreens said it would begin extra staff training.

After Hall filed the complaint, a CVS representative contacted her and apologized for the pharmacist's behavior, Steve Kilar with the ACLU of Arizona said Friday.

DeAngelis said the pharmacist was no longer employed at CVS, but he would not clarify whether the pharmacist was sacked after the company learned about Hall's encounter. In a June statement, Walgreens said pharmacists are allowed to not fill a prescription based on moral objections but they must give it to another pharmacist to fill.

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.

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