PHARMACY

CVS Pharmacist No Longer Employed After Prescription Fill Refusal

July 27, 2018

A CVS Health pharmacist recently refused to fill a hormone therapy prescription for a transgender woman in Arizona. As a result, the drugstore company expressed that the pharmacist’s actions violated its policy and said that the pharmacist is no longer employed with the company.

The patient, Hilde Hall, recently said in a statement posted on the American Civil Liberties Union’s website that she went to CVS in April after receiving her first prescription for hormone therapy. She explained that a CVS pharmacist refused to fill one of her prescriptions but did not provide a reason and declined to return her doctor’s prescription note.

According to a statement from CVS spokesman, Michael J DeAngelis, the pharmacist’s conduct “does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care.”

“He did not give me a clear reason for the refusal,” Ms Hall explained in her statement. “He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions.”

As a result, Ms Hall went to Walgreens to fill her prescription—without any trouble—and then called CVS’s corporate complaint phone line a number of times. She said that no one addressed her concerns after multiple calls.

Mr DeAngelis explained that the company did not appropriately response to the complaint due to an “unintentional oversight.” He said that when the company learned about her recent statement, they spoke with Ms Hall the next day.

According to Mr DeAngelis, the pharmacist is no longer employed at CVS. However, it was not clear whether the pharmacist was fired after the company learned about Ms Hall’s encounter. Arizona state law give pharmacists’ the right to refuse to fill persecutions on the basis of religious beliefs; however, federal discrimination laws established under the Affordable Care Act make it illegal to refuse prescriptions on the basis of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Ms Hall’s case is not the first case of a pharmacist who refuses to fill a prescription for a patient due to personal beliefs. A recent case covered by attorney Ann Latner, JD, examined a Walgreens pharmacist who was sued under the Human Rights Act after he would not fill a prescription for misoprostol because of his personal beliefs.

Julie Gould


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