Opinion: Walgreens New “Same-Day Hormone Therapy” Deal with Kind Clinic Shows They Learned Nothing from Theranos Scandal

Walgreens storefront. | Image by patty_c

In a desperate bid to stay relevant, Walgreens is putting together yet another “partnership” which puts patients at risk and should concern parents. They are partnering with the Kind Clinic to offer so-called hormone therapy to minor children.

According to FAQs posted on Kind Clinic’s website, a patient can actually receive hormone therapy on the same day as their appointment—hardly the intense psychological vetting most leftists have assured us is taking place. Additionally, children as young as 16 can allegedly receive hormone therapy without mental health letters or parent approval.

Walgreens, a company that once presented itself “at the corner of Healthy and Happy”, is now offering hormones that make patients neither healthy nor happy. The American Psychological Association has said that as many as 98% of boys and 88% of girls grow out of gender dysphoria.

However, the impacts of hormone therapy are scarring and irreversible—leaving children shorter, less muscular, and less developed than comparable peers. Moreover, studies from the American College of Pediatricians have shown that children who take hormone therapy are significantly more likely than their peers to commit suicide.

Most other developed nations including the UK and France restrict child hormone therapy stating an inability for minors to reasonably consent or understand such devastating side effects.

Unfortunately, this is to be expected from Walgreens who once hailed Theranos, a company which defrauded investors and put thousands of patients’ lives at risk, “the next step in Walgreens’ efforts to transform community pharmacy”; and paid the company over $100 Million despite the recommendations of multiple independent safety experts.

This latest plot by Walgreens should raise deep concerns not only for Walgreens investors and customers but for all Dallas area parents.

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1 Comment

  1. Alan Roberts, MD

    I’m a physician who has served on the medical school faculty and have both taught and practiced medicine in the DFW area for nearly two decades. And I’m appalled by the full scale misrepresentation of facts, expert panel positions, and scientific data in this piece, and the manipulative, downright ignorant statements presented throughout as if they were accepted truths.

    The Kind Clinic is first of all the provider of the services you misquote—they are independent partners with Walgreens on this effort, but not affiliated with the pharmacy chain in any other way. And their primary purpose is to provide free HIV testing, treatment and prevention, STI testing and treatment, and yes, gender-affirming care to those who are otherwise unable to receive these life-saving and essential healthcare interventions otherwise.

    The vast majority of patients receiving these services are not minors, and all of us who provide hormone therapy for those under 18 must by law do so only with a parent or guardian present—informed consent is the accepted and standard model of gender affirming care for over a decade or more now, and minors cannot sign this consent themselves. Only a parent or legal guardian can, and they must be present at every visit—in the exam room.

    Also, your claim that the vast majority of individuals with gender dysphoria “grow out of it” is the polar opposite of the science and evidence on this subject—you literally made that up. Those who present for hormone therapy have uniformly been living in misery for years prior to making the decision to seek help, and there is absolutely no evidence that those who have reached the point of presenting for HRT will “grow out of it”, any more than those who are cisgender will grow out of their genders assigned at birth, to underscore the idiocy of your statement. Indeed, gender affirming hormone therapy has been demonstrated to consistently improve self-esteem and mental health, and in fact ameliorate “gender dysphoria” (you need to look up that term).

    In addition, those of us who are experts in these matters—which is in no way a political endeavor and we are not synonymous with “leftists”—have never promised you any litany of “vetting” patients before assisting them with their transition.That unnecessary, humiliating and demonstrably harmful practice has been abandoned in favor of an informed consent model of care for quite some time now, and this evidence-based model is enthusiastically endorsed by every eminent medical authority and legitimate professional guideline panel there is, including the AMA, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the AmerIcan College of Physicians—again, for many years now.

    It’s perfectly fine for you to take a position on these issues, and to present them in editorial fashion in your publication. What is not fine for you to publish propaganda in place of policy, or lies in lieu of facts, to shore up your agenda. You are not spending your days sitting across from these individuals observing their experiences in any sort of dignified manner—you’ve objectified their suffering into an abstraction, to serve other self-servicing agendas on your part at their expense. In other words, you’re doing harm to people who have done you no wrong whatsoever. If you won’t be ashamed of yourselves—or at least bother to research the facts of your topics of journalism before putting them to paper—at minimum sit down and take your own inventories—this issue isn’t about you.


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