Facts About Picking Up Your Prescription
When your doctor writes and calls in a prescription drug — whether it’s controlled substances, birth control, or another type of prescription — it’s up to you to ensure that you pick it up within the allotted time period. Filled prescriptions that are not picked up on time will likely be put back on the shelf with the rest of the prescription medications. But that begs the question: How long do pharmacies hold prescriptions? In general, pharmacies will hold your prescription for two to 14 days, but each pharmacy is different. The average time is seven to 10 days.
If you can’t pick up your prescription, most pharmacies allow a family member to do it for you. Just be sure they have all the information about your insurance company and insurance plans.
What If I Don’t Pick Up My Prescription?
If you have received medical advice and a diagnosis or treatment plan, it’s important that you pick up your prescription after the doctor calls it in. While this article is intended for informational purposes only, doctors typically only prescribe medications when necessary.
Remember, if you don’t pick up your prescription, the pharmacist will cancel your order and restock the medication.
Will My Doctor Know If I Pick Up My Prescription?
Your doctor does have ways of knowing whether you picked up your prescription, if they choose to look. For instance, they can call the pharmacy and ask them to look at their hard copy of the prescription to see if you’ve picked it up. Or, if the pharmacy uses an electronic health record system, the doctor can log in to find out if you’ve picked it up. If you were prescribed a controlled substance, the doctor can log into the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to check the status of the pickup.
Can I Transfer My Prescription to Another Pharmacy?
If you can’t make it to the pharmacy that your doctor called in the prescription to, you can probably call them and ask if they can transfer the prescription to another pharmacy that is more convenient for you. But keep in mind that every pharmacy is different, and some may not be open to this. Also, the type of prescription may prevent a pharmacy from doing this. For instance, if yours is for a controlled substance, the pharmacy may not agree to transfer it.
How Long Do Pharmacies Hold Prescriptions?
Because every pharmacy is different, we have compiled a list of the major pharmacies and data about how long they will hold prescriptions after they’ve been called in.
As of March 21, 2023, Walgreens will hold a prescription for seven to 10 days before canceling the order and restocking the drug. But each Walgreens has different policies, so you should call the pharmacy where your prescription is to determine how long you have to pick it up.
As of March 21, 2023, CVS will only hold a prescription for two days. This is a short window, so if you ask your doctor to call in a prescription to CVS, be sure you are ready to pick it up within this time frame. If you don’t pick it up in time, the pharmacist will cancel the order, and you will not be able to pick it up after that.
As of March 21, 2023, Rite Aid will hold a called-in prescription medication for 12 days. That’s longer than the average, making it more convenient for you to get the medication you need on your schedule.
As of March 21, 2023, Kroger will hold prescriptions for about 10 days before putting it back on the shelf. But that can vary from store to store, so if you’re in doubt, contact the Kroger that holds your prescription and ask how long they will hold it.
Don’t Forget the Discount!
Any time you pick up a prescription at a pharmacy, it’s a good idea to use a discount drug prescription card to save you money. For instance, myRxMedSaver will reduce the amount of money you have to pay for your prescriptions, and it is so easy to download!