Fighting Pharmacists’ Slut-Shaming

Pharmacists can slut-shame young women picking up birth-control products. Reddit user Vdd993 wrote this about going to her local CVS: “I have gotten many prescription of other drugs at this cvs, but now the only prescription I pick up every month is my birth control pills. Whenever I do the same woman behind the counter asks for my name, then walks 5 feet away to pick it up off the shelf and yells from there its the birth control right?!… Never have they done this with any prescription Ive picked up in the past. And Ive been to my cvs pharmacy a lot this past year and a half. Never have they asked thing like the pain killers right? Or the antibiotics right? I think shes trying to shame me or make me feel self embarrassed that Im picking up birth control.” Other Reddit users had other stories of slut-shaming. Fortunately, some Redditors offered good advice to these women. They advised Reddit user Vdd993 to report the pharmacist to CVS and the state pharmacy board because — they say — the pharmacist’s behavior is a HIPAA violation. lawstudent2 wrote, “There is nothing more contemptible in the eyes of corporate management than a line-worker that exposes them to liability as a result of airing their personal politics. I gauran-f[**]king-tee you that [CVS] will have a whole hell of a lot to say about this, and they have little patience for repeat offenders. … A few complaints about lecturing women about birth control and this woman will have to find a job elsewhere.” Of course, people can pretend to be law students while on Reddit, but this advice is well worth checking out. Some users wrote about successfully complaining about such bad behavior. For example, Satyagraha__1 wrote on Reddit, “I reported this type of behavior at Walgreens pharmacy for birth control pills as a HIPAA violation. I received a personal letter of apology and a gift card, and the store waiting area was rearranged such that there is more privacy at the register. It has not happened again. You have a right to privacy, do not stand for this.”

This information comes from HHS.giv: “The Office for Civil Rights enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information; the HIPAA Security Rule, which sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information; the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule, which requires covered entities and business associates to provide notification following a breach of unsecured protected health information; and the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Rule, which protect identifiable information being used to analyze patient safety events and improve patient safety.”

For Further Information: Christina Cauterucci, “Got a Pharmacy Slut-Shaming Problem? Reddit Can Help.” Slate. 14 December 2015 <http://tinyurl.com/pvaujsm>.

For Further Information: Vdd993, “I think my pharmacist tries to publicly shame me when picking up my birth control pills.” Reddit. 12 December 2015 <http://tinyurl.com/olhqxrz>.

For Further Information: “Health Information Privacy.” HHS.gov. Accessed 15 December 2015 <http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/>.

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