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

Hilde Hall (ACLU Photo)

PHOENIX — CVS said Friday it fired a pharmacist accused of refusing to fill a hormone prescription for a transgender customer at a Phoenix-area store.

On Thursday, Hilde Hall wrote a blog post on the American Civil Liberties Union website about her experience at the Fountain Hills pharmacy.

The post began: “On a recent day in April, I left my doctor’s office elated. I was carrying my first prescriptions for hormone therapy. I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I’ve always known myself to be.”

The pharmacist refused to fill one of the subscriptions, Hall wrote.

“He did not give me a clear reason for the refusal. He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions,” Hall wrote, adding that she was “embarrassed and distressed.”

The pharmacist wouldn’t give the prescriptions back to her, Hall wrote, so she had to ask her doctor to call them in to another pharmacy.

Before writing her post, she said her concerns had not been addressed by CVS despite multiple calls to company’s corporate complaint line.

She filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy and asked CVS for a public apology, which she received Friday.

CVS posted its response on Twitter, apologizing to Hall and saying the pharmacist was no longer employed by the company. The statement said he “violated company policies and does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion.”

It was the second recent controversial incident to take place in a Phoenix-area pharmacy.

In June, a pharmacist at a Peoria Walgreens, based on ethical beliefs, refused to fill a woman’s prescription for a medication to induce a miscarriage.

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

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

Under Arizona law, pharmacists may refuse to fill a prescription based on their moral values.

KTAR News 92.3