Nicole Mone Arteaga is speaking out against Walgreens after, she says, a pharmacist for the chain refused to fill her miscarriage-inducing prescription.
The incident sparked Arteaga to share her story on Facebook and in a one-star Yelp review of the Peoria, Arizona Walgreens location, where she was denied the medication.
Arteaga explained that after suffering previous miscarriages, her doctor had been monitoring her nine-week pregnancy closely.
“Each week I went for my ultra sound praying to see progress and hear the sound of little heartbeat. Unfortunately, development isn’t happening and my body is slowly getting ready to miscarry. My dr gave me two choices D & C or a prescription that will help induce bleeding and discharge in the comfort of my home,” she wrote on Yelp.
She chose the latter, and when she went to pick up her prescription, the Walgreens pharmacist, who she later identifies as Brian Hreniuc, “refused” to give it to her.
“I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist explaining my situation in front of my 7 year old, and five customers standing behind only to be denied because of his ethical beliefs,” she wrote on Facebook, alongside Hreniuc’s business card. “I get it we all have our beliefs. But what he failed to understand is this isn’t the situation I had hoped for, this isn’t something I wanted. This is something I have zero control over. He has no idea what its like to want nothing more than to carry a child to full term and be unable to do so….I left Walgreens in tears feeling humiliated, ashamed and punished by someone who knows nothing of my struggles.”
Arteaga said she ultimately picked up her prescription from another Walgreens location “with no problems” after asking her doctor for “his help in making sure that pharmacist at the second location would give it” to her.
In a tweet, Walgreens said: “Our policy allows pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription for which they have a moral objection. At the same time, they are also required to refer the prescription to another pharmacist or manager on duty to meet the patient’s needs in a timely manner.”
After the incident, Arteaga said, “I called and spoke to store manager who did not seem happy about what had happened.” She also wrote that she contacted Walgreens corporate office and filed a complaint with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy.
In a statement to CNN, Walgreens also said: “After learning what happened, we reached out to the patient and apologized for how the situation was handled.”
Calling the whole situation a “nightmare,” Arteaga said she hopes that what happened to her doesn’t happen to others. “I experienced something no women should ever have to go thru especially under these circumstances or any other circumstances.”
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