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How to Refill a Prescription

Modern technology has made refilling a prescription quicker and easier than ever. Many pharmacies offer online systems and applications that allow you to submit information from your mobile device, along with the more traditional phone number for you to call. However, even with all of the different convenient options, many patients are still confused about when they need to request their refills and what information they need to have handy.

Before You Request an Rx Refill

Before you contact your pharmacy, find the prescription label for the medication you need to refill and locate the following information:

  • Rx number – Although the pharmacist can often look up your prescription without this number, most automated systems require you to have the Rx number to process your refill.
  • Pharmacy contact information – Each Rx label is required by law to include the address and phone number of the prescribing pharmacy. This is the phone number you should call to request your refill. If you are using a mobile application or online system, you will need to know the address of your local pharmacy to ensure your refill is processed at the correct location.
  • Refill information – The label of your most recent prescription will have up-to-date information about how many refills you have left before you need to speak with your doctor again.

Keep your prescription label handy when you call or login to request your refill. Please note that many refills cannot be processed on the same day your request is made. Most pharmacies need at least a few days’ notice to process your refill, or more if they need to contact your prescribing doctor’s office.

How To Request a Prescription Refill

There are several convenient refill methods for patients to choose from. Here’s how you can refill your next prescription:

By Phone

If you are calling in a refill, use the number provided on the Rx label and follow the voice prompts. If you have a question about your refill or your prescription, ask to speak with someone at the pharmacy counter, rather than using the automated system, to ensure your concerns are addressed.

Online

If you are using an app or website, use the prescription number provided on the label and double check to make sure you entered it correctly. Double check the pharmacy address as well, so you do not accidentally ask for a refill at a different pharmacy location. Many automated systems send you a text or an email when your prescription is ready for pick-up.

Just as not all prescriptions may be transferred to a different pharmacy, not all prescriptions may be refilled. Your Rx label will have information for your specific situation. And remember to always ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. We are used to questions about refills!

Ask About Discounts for Your Prescription Refill

Depending on your insurance coverage, pharmacy location, drug manufacturer, and other factors, you may not be receiving the lowest price possible on your prescription refill. It’s always a good idea to ask your pharmacist if any coupons or discounts are available for your medication . You can also compare your prescription price at several local pharmacies before filling the drug.

This post is part of our “Ask an Expert” blog series by Ken Majkowski, Pharm.D, the Chief Pharmacy Officer at FamilyWize. Ken brings more than 40 years of healthcare experience to the FamilyWize team, including 14 years of clinical pharmacy experience in retail, hospital, and home care. Read his full bio here .

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