There are a variety of reasons to move your medications from one pharmacy to another. It could be that you found a better price, you’ve recently moved to a new area, or you’re looking for a location closer to your workplace. Regardless of the reason, transferring prescriptions between pharmacies is a straightforward process.
Here are the steps to transfer your prescription to a different pharmacy:
- Call or visit the new pharmacy to request an Rx transfer.
- Give the new pharmacy the names of all the medications you want to transfer, along with dosage and Rx numbers.
- Provide your current pharmacy’s contact information. The new pharmacy will contact your old pharmacy and take care of most of the process.
- Wait for the transfer to be completed, allowing at least 1-3 business days.
Information to Share with Your New Pharmacy
When you contact your new pharmacy, be sure you have your health and prescription information available. Specifically, you will need to tell the pharmacist:
- Your full name and date of birth
- Your address and phone number
- All known allergies (food and medicines)
- The names of all the prescriptions you’re transferring
- The strength and dosage of your medications
- Rx number for each medication (the 7-digit number on the top left of the label)
- Phone number and address for your current pharmacy
- Contact information for your prescribing physician
Allow the New Pharmacy to Handle the Transfer
After you let the new pharmacist know that you wish to move your medications, they will contact your current pharmacist and handle the transfer. If your prescription is out of refills, the pharmacist will also contact your doctor.
To expedite the process, you can check with your doctor and make sure you still have refills before reaching out to the new pharmacy.
Allow Enough Time for the Transfer
Although prescriptions can be moved to a different pharmacy quickly, you should still err on the side of caution and allow at least 1-3 business days for the switch to take effect. If you’re out of medicine and need a refill immediately, you might not be able to access it at the new pharmacy right away. It’s important to make sure you have a sufficient Rx pill supply before making the move.
Be Aware of Exceptions
There are certain prescriptions that cannot be transferred or have a limited number of transfers.
Schedule III, IV, and V medications are classified as controlled substances. You are only allowed one transfer with these types of medications, regardless of how many refills you have left. If you’ve run out of transfers, contact your doctor for a new prescription before attempting to switch pharmacies.
Some examples of Schedule III, IV, and V medications include Tylenol with Codeine, Xanax, and Robitussin AC or other cough suppressants with codeine.
Schedule II controlled substances are not able to be transferred at all due to the risk of substance abuse and dependency they pose. These medications also cannot be refilled, so your doctor will have to write you a new prescription whenever you run out. Examples of these substances include Adderall, Ritalin, and OxyContin.
Additionally, be aware that if any of your Rx medications have run out of refills, your doctor may require you to come in for an appointment before refilling the prescription.
Establish a Relationship with Your New Pharmacist
It’s important that you inform your new pharmacist of all medications and supplements you take, including over the counter medicines that may interact with your prescriptions. Your pharmacist is there to make sure you stay safe and manage your prescriptions effectively. You should establish a relationship with them so they can properly advise you on your medications.
Different Pharmacies Charge Different Prices
Did you know that patients commonly switch pharmacies because it allows them to save money? Many pharmacies charge different prices for the same prescription medication. Consider comparing your Rx prices at different pharmacies from time to time so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Are your prescriptions cheaper at another pharmacy?