Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

CVS apologizes to transgender woman for prescription denial

Hilde Hall Hilde Hall
Johnnie Parks | 24 July, 2018, 21:42

A CVS pharmacist was sacked this week after he refused to refill a transgender woman's prescription.

She talked to 12 News about the incident making headlines-a transgender woman describing how a pharmacists at this CVS in Fountain Hills refused to fill her prescription for hormones.

"I left my doctor's office elated", she wrote.

It was the first time she received a prescription for the hormone therapy.

"He did not give me a clear reason for the refusal", Hall wrote, "embarrassed and distressed, I almost started crying in the middle of the store", she continued.

In her essay, Hall explained why she didn't want to engage with the pharmacist.

Hall wrote that she's lucky that her family and friends accept and support who she is.

Hall wrote that she was on the verge of tears while this pharmacist continually questioned her about the prescription.

The pharmacist refused to give her back the written prescription, she said, forcing her doctor to call it in to another pharmacy.

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

CVS posted its response on Twitter, apologizing to Hall and saying the pharmacist was no longer employed by the company. "His actions did not reflect the company's values or commitment to "inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care", CVS said in its statement".

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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.

The woman had been told by a doctor that her baby had stopped developing, and her options were surgery or the medication.

After Arteaga complained to the pharmacy board about a Walgreens pharmacist denying her a miscarriage-related prescription because of personal beliefs, the agency began an investigation.

CVS says it has a history of supporting LGBTQ rights, helping to develop a guide for pharmacy care for gay, lesbian and transgender customers.

The transgender woman filed a complaint with CVS, which she said went ignored. My doctor ended up having to call the prescription into the local Walgreens, where the medication was filled without question. She said she chose the medication instead of undergoing an invasive medical procedure.

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

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

Hall said the pharmacist wouldn't return the prescription note.

Walgreens policy requires pharmacists who morally object to filling a prescription to refer it to another pharmacist or manager "in a timely manner", which Arteaga's pharmacist did not do. So, she was unable to take it to another pharmacy.

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.

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