Where can I get a prescription filled?
When you are prescribed to take a medication from your physician, dentist, podiatrist or veterinarian to treat your (or your pet’s) illness you will be given a prescription. In the United States, pharmacies need a prescription to legally dispense FDA-approved medications.
LOCAL COMMUNITY PHARMACIES
The most common place for filling your prescription is at a local community pharmacy. Some pharmacies are conveniently located inside of a grocery store like Safeway, Kroger, Giant Eagle or at large chain stores like Costco, Wal-Mart, Kmart, and CVS.
It is recommended to fill all your prescriptions within the same pharmacy or pharmacy chain. That way, the pharmacy has an electronic record of all the medicines you are taking. This helps prevent serious drug interactions. The pharmacy system alerts the pharmacist of these interactions.
Your insurance health plan may require you to use certain pharmacies. These are known as limited pharmacy networks. Filling a prescription outside of the network will cause your prescription to be rejected, requiring you to pay the pharmacy’s full cash price – your insurance will pay nothing towards the cost of your prescriptions filled outside their pharmacy network.
To make sure your pharmacy is participating in the pharmacy network call the phone number on the back of your insurance card or call the pharmacy directly to see if they are a participating pharmacy. The pharmacy will know whether they are participating when they electronically adjudicate your claim for payment. They should tell you if the claim was accepted or not but if the price they tell you to pay is higher than your copay or expectation then ask them why.
When filling prescriptions at your pharmacy, please show the pharmacist your insurance or discount drug card the first time you fill the prescription. This will insure they have this information recorded online for refills or other prescriptions filled at their pharmacy.
Some people and insurance companies choose to use mail-order pharmacies for better pricing and convenience on long-term maintenance medications. Maintenance medications are drugs you take for long periods of time to control chronic conditions like hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, or other illnesses. Mail-order pharmacies provide lower costs since they do not have the high overhead associated with retail pharmacies. They can also be conveniently used to automatically send you refills on your prescriptions directly to your home so you don’t run out.
Although your medication or copay may cost less when you use a mail-order pharmacy, it may take a week or more to get your medication to you. And unlike your local community pharmacy, you will need to call them to speak to a pharmacist directly.
If you are uninsured or your medication is not covered by your insurance, you can save money by using EasyDrugCard.