7 Secrets to Easy Pharmacy Transfers

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Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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So you’ve used GoodRx to compare prices on your prescription, and you found a less expensive pharmacy. But transferring your prescription is a pain, right? It’s actually easier than you may think! Generally, your new pharmacy will want to make the transfer as smooth as possible—and there are a few things you can to do keep things simple:

  1. Let your new pharmacy know that you want to transfer your prescriptions from your old pharmacy. You’ll need to get them the name, strength, and prescription number of each prescription, along with the phone number of your old pharmacy. You can do this by calling, stopping by the new pharmacy in person—or you may be able to do a transfer online if your new pharmacy offers transfer services on their website or mobile app.
  2. You’ll also need to give your new pharmacy some personal information, and your insurance information. If they offer online transfers, you can also send this information through their website. The new pharmacy will typically need to know:
    • Your first and last name
    • Date of birth
    • Address
    • Telephone number
    • Any allergies you may have
  3. Wait for your prescriptions to be transferred. The amount of time your new pharmacy need can depend on how many prescriptions need to be moved over. I recommend giving the pharmacy at least 1 to 3 days before you need to pick up your refills. That way, any issues can be taken care of behind the scenes before you go into the store. If you want the pharmacy to alert you to any possible issues during the transfer process, be sure they have the best phone number to reach you.
  4. If you want to use a discount or your prescription insurance, make sure you have the coupon or your insurance card with you when you go to fill. The pharmacist will need to enter some information to get you the right price.
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If you’re on top of your medication regimen and know which of your prescriptions are eligible to be refilled, transferring your prescriptions should be an easy task. There are still a few things that can keep you from transferring smoothly—though keeping in contact with your doctor’s office can help make sure you don’t run into any of these hiccups in the transfer process:

  1. Your prescription is out of refills. If your prescription is out of refills your new pharmacy can contact the doctor on your behalf in hopes of getting you a new prescription. I also encourage my patients to reach out to their doctor’s office—you can be out of refills for reasons that your pharmacist won’t be able to resolve (for example: you need a follow-up appointment or blood work, or you no longer need that medication).
  2. Some prescriptions can’t be transferred. Schedule II controlled substance medications cannot be transferred—at all. They also aren’t eligible for refills; your doctor will need to give you a new prescription every time you fill. Some common examples include Adderall (amphetamine salt combo), Concerta (methylphenidate ER), Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen), Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen), and Oxycontin (oxycodone ER).
  3. Some prescriptions can only be transferred once. Schedule III, IV, and V controlled substance medications can only be transferred one time, no matter how many refills you have left. If you need to transfer again, you’ll need a new prescription from your doctor. Some common examples of this type of medication include Ambien (zolpidem), Tylenol with codeine (acetaminophen/codeine), testosterone, Ultram (tramadol), and Xanax (alprazolam).

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