How to transfer a prescription to another pharmacy

One of the common tasks that occur in a pharmacy is the transfer of a prescription. It sometimes seems like a time-consuming process for you as a customer but in fact, it is straightforward.

This is a quick guide to prescription transfer and some of the common questions you might have along the way.

What does it mean to transfer a prescription?

When you want to transfer a prescription you are basically wanting to change your current pharmacy to a new pharmacy. Transferring prescriptions over to a new pharmacy is common and easy to do. It is an everyday occurrence in a pharmacy.

There are several reasons why you might decide to switch pharmacies. Maybe the new pharmacy is a local pharmacy within walking distance, has better prescription prices and service, offers more pharmacy services eg. focus on wellness, or has a mobile app that allows communication with them at your fingertips.

What is a prescription?

A prescription is an instruction order from your doctor to the pharmacist. It states the name of the medication, the required dosage, and strength, the duration, the number of refills as well as the directions for taking or applying it. Drugs that are classed as prescription only require a prescription. On the other hand, over-the-counter drugs can be purchased directly from a pharmacy.

How do I transfer my prescription to a new pharmacy?

This process is simple and effortless provided that you have all your prescription information and personal details. They must be accurate and up to date. If you are unsure your new pharmacy is there to help.

Essential information your new pharmacy will need:

  • Your name
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Prescription number (Rx number)
  • Name of the medications you would like to transfer
  • Your medical history
  • Insurance information
  • The pharmacy where you are filling the prescription currently and their phone number

The information above will allow a smooth prescription transfer with minimal time delays.

It is recommended when transferring to a new pharmacy that you transfer every prescription you have. This will allow the pharmacist in charge to see a full picture of your medication usage, spot potential adverse reactions between medications and take into account any over-the-counter medication you may be taking.

Before transferring pharmacy you must be certain the new pharmacy will offer your prescription. Specific medications can not transfer to a different pharmacy including Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse, Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, and certain Schedule II controlled substances. Additionally, other medications can only be transferred once, even if you have more than one refill left e.g. Ambien, testosterone, Ultram, and Xanax. After transferring them once, you’ll need a new prescription from your doctor to switch pharmacies again.

Your new pharmacy will generally take responsibility for making sure your prescriptions are transferred from the old pharmacy. The pharmacist can also contact your doctor to sort out refills. Some insurance plans have preferred pharmacies but your new pharmacy will know if this is the case.

Does a prescription transfer take long?

A transfer request can take a few hours or up to 24 hours. If it is urgent ringing the old pharmacy directly and requesting a faster process for whatever reason is the best solution.

Your new pharmacy will then contact you once the prescription has been transferred to them. They will then dispense your medication on your next prescription refill date advised by your doctor.

Medically reviewed

A medical professional has reviewed this article.

Jamie Winn, PharmD
Jamie Winn, PharmD

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Dr. Jamie Winn received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC. Jamie is a medical reviewer for NiceRx.

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The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.