Prescription Refills: Tips For Refilling Your Prescriptions

In Uncategorized by Dr. Clinton Osborn

Studies have shown that 30% of prescription medications are never filled and 50% of drugs for chronic diseases are not taken as prescribed

What could be the issue here?

A lot of times, people are unaware of the proper way of refilling and taking their prescriptions. Even though modern technology has made the process more efficient than ever, people still make mistakes.

Pharmacies offer both online and off-line services for patients to submit their information through mobile devices and various locations. Online telemedicine, like GuruMD, have made it very convenient to the point where the healthcare provider would send the patient’s information to the pharmacy, so they can go and pick up the medication or refill it.

Despite all these convenient options, patients are still confused about when to request a refill and what information they need to get one. Luckily, we have the information here to get rid of all the confusion.

Related: Telehealth Services Are Becoming Increasingly Popular

How Do Healthcare Providers Give You A Prescription?

Healthcare providers can offer prescriptions in a variety of ways. They can write a paper prescription where the patient can take to their local pharmacy, calling/emailing the pharmacy to order the medication, or send the prescription to the pharmacy through the electronic medical record or EMR.

Have a GuruMD doctor write you a prescription!

Does Your Health Plan Cover It?

Before getting a refill, it’s essential to see if the health plan covers the drug. There are certain brands of medicine that health insurance does not cover. The majority of health plans require the patient to pay the pharmacy a portion of the prescription price, which is known as co-pay. 

It depends on insurance coverage, drug manufacture, pharmacy location, and various other factors that can contribute to the price of the prescription refill. It’s a good idea to ask the pharmacist if there are any discounts or coupons available for a particular medication. Patients should also compare prescription prices with other local pharmacies before filling the drug.

What To Do Before Requesting A Refill?

Before calling the pharmacy for a refill, there is a couple of information to have on hand. It’s essential to find the prescription label on the medication, and locate the following information:

Rx number

Even though the pharmacist can look up the Rx number, most automated systems require the patient to have the number before initiating a refill.

Contact info

Each RX label should have both the phone number and address of the prescribing pharmacy, which is the contact information the patient should call for a refill. With a mobile application, it’s vital to know the address of the local pharmacy to ensure that the refill is at the proper location.

Refill info

The label of the recent prescription should have current information on the number of refills that the patient has left. Make sure to keep the prescription label nearby during a call, and keep in mind that a lot of refills cannot be processed on the same day. Most pharmacies will require a couple of days of notice before refilling the medication, so it’s best not to wait until the last minute.

Related: Where and when can I use Telemedicine and what is the cost?

How To Get The Prescription Refill?

Person holding an iPhone and looking at the laptop

Patients should call the pharmacy for a refill instead of the clinic. It’s essential to call the pharmacy 2 to 3 days before the medication runs out. Here are several ways for a patient to contact the pharmacy for a refill:


If patients are calling in for a refill, it’s vital to have the Rx label and follow the automated process. If there are any questions about the refill or prescription, then it’s essential to speak to the pharmacist directly.


If the patient is using a website or app, then the prescription number is something useful to have nearby. Make sure to double-check to ensure that the digits and address of the pharmacy are entered correctly. The last thing that anyone wants is for a refill to occur at a different location. Usually an automated system will send an email or text when the prescription is ready to get picked up.

See a doctor online for a consultation and prescription order sent to your local pharmacy!

Stimulant refills

Stimulant medication is a little bit tricky because they are addicting and have dangerous side effects. If the patient needs a stimulant prescription refill, they will need to call the clinic and leave a message for the healthcare provider. 

It’s essential to provide these information to the provider:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Name of the medication
  • Phone number
  • Where the prescription will get picked up

The clinic will need 3 to 5 days to refill the prescription, so it’s vital to call a couple of days before the prescription runs out.

Type of Pharmacy For The Refill

pharmacist with two bottles of medication

Here are the types of pharmacies that patients can pick up the refills:

Local pharmacies

The most common place for a refill is at the local pharmacy. It’s best to fill a prescription in the same pharmacy so they have a record of all the medication, which can be useful to prevent drug interactions. 

Keep in mind that health insurance may require specific types of pharmacy, so it’s best to check with the health plan. This will entail calling the phone number on the back of the insurance card, call the pharmacy to see if they have a contract with the insurance plan and bring the insurance card to pick up the prescription. 

Make sure to provide the name of the medication, prescription number, and full name.

Mail-order pharmacies

This method is where the prescription is sent to the mail-order pharmacy by the provider through the phone. The medication may cost less with this type of pharmacy, but it may take a week to get to the patient. Mail order is suitable for long-term medication for chronic illnesses, but for short term medication, it’s best to use the local pharmacy.

Online pharmacies

Online pharmacies can be convenient but require some precaution. Avoid any website that says a doctor can prescribe the medication without seeing the patient. Make sure the website has a privacy policy and essential procedure. In addition to that, the website should have directions for transferring or filling prescriptions.

Related: Why should I use an Online Doctor?


Despite the advancement in technology, which has led to the convenience of prescription refills, patients are still making mistakes. Fortunately, the information provided above can be helpful to ensure that patients get their medication on time without any hassle or misunderstanding.

In addition to that, telemedicine, like GuruMD, has made it as convenient and easy as possible by having a healthcare provider diagnose the patient online and sending in the prescription order to the desired pharmacy location. 

With this secure system, the patient can go to the pharmacy and pick up or refill the medication. Because of this system, patients can talk to a provider online without driving, waiting, or any hassle that they would experience at an actual clinic.

Contact GuruMD to get the prescription order that you need.