5 Secrets for a Smooth Trip to the Pharmacy

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Do you fill more than one prescription a month? Have you ever gone to the pharmacy with a stack of prescriptions for your whole family?
Avoid frustration at the pharmacy with these common sense things that can help. These 5 dos and don’ts will help you make sure your next fill goes smoothly.
1. DON’T hand over a stack of prescriptions
If you have prescriptions for anyone other than yourself, it’s important to organize and separate them by person. It’s also helpful to separate prescriptions by how you’d like to pay for them. If you’re using a GoodRx discount on some and your insurance on others to get the lowest price, make sure your pharmacist knows. They’ll need to process them separately.
Why is this important? The wrong information could end up associated with your prescriptions, especially if you’re dropping off prescriptions for multiple people. This can also help you make sure you get the lowest price for each prescription!
2. DO give the correct date of birth for each prescription.
If you’re dropping off prescriptions for your family, don’t make the mistake of giving your own date of birth! It’s extremely important that your pharmacist has the right date of birth for each person, no matter how many prescriptions you’re filling.
Why is this important? Giving the wrong date of birth can lead to your pharmacist filling a prescription for the wrong family member—especially if the last name is the same.
3. DON’T note your own allergies if a prescription isn’t for you.
This is the same concept as the date of birth mistake—if you are dropping off prescriptions for others make sure you know their allergies.
Why is this important? You may have different allergies than your children or spouse, and some allergic reactions can be very serious. Providing incorrect information could lead to a life-threatening allergic reaction.
4. DON’T assume we can talk to you about prescriptions for your family members.
If you are dropping off prescriptions for your spouse or child and they are over the age of 18, the pharmacy cannot legally tell you anything about their medications, even if you’re filling the prescription for them. If they have any questions, they’ll need to call or come in to the pharmacy themselves.
Why is this important? If your child is 18 years of age or older you are no longer considered their legal representative. HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act) requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information when it is transferred, received, handled, or shared.
5. DO make sure you’re getting the lowest price for every prescription.
There are lots of ways to save, and it gets more complicated when you’re trying to fill many prescriptions at one time. It can take some legwork to find out whether you’ll get the lowest prices from your insurance or Medicare plan, a GoodRx discount, or a manufacturer coupon.
The My Prescriptions program from GoodRx is one way to make things easier. You only need an email address to sign up, and you can track all of your (and your family’s) prescriptions. There’s also a My Best Pharmacy feature that will give you one coupon to bring with you to the pharmacy for all of your prescriptions, with helpful instructions for your pharmacist.
Why is this important? Prescriptions are expensive, and doing your homework before you get to the pharmacy can save you a lot of money.

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