How To Transfer a Prescription to Another Pharmacy

Written by Phil Rossi

NowRx Pharmacy

Figuring out how to transfer a prescription to another pharmacy may seem complicated.

However, it is a very common process that occurs every day inside each pharmacy.

Here is a basic overview of how to get started with a prescription transfer and some of the common questions you might have along the way.

What Does It Mean to Transfer a Prescription?

A prescription transfer is when you decide to move your prescriptions from one pharmacy to another.

In other words, it means you are switching to a new pharmacy.

There are a number of reasons why you might decide to switch pharmacies. Maybe the new pharmacy has better prices, better service or offers more customer perks like free same-day delivery.

No matter your reason, the process to transfer a prescription is straightforward and happens every day.   

What is a Prescription?

Before looking at how to transfer a prescription, it helps to first understand what a prescription actually is.

Simply put, a prescription is just a written order from your doctor to the pharmacist. 

This order includes 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, etc.

Each prescription is unique and only one pharmacy can have the prescription at any given time.

A prescription can only come from a doctor, but any pharmacy can dispense the medication.

Doctors write prescriptions.

Pharmacies dispense medications.

This might sound like semantics, but it is actually very important to understand.

When your doctor sends a prescription to the pharmacy electronically, or if you bring a paper copy, the pharmacy creates a record that exists at that pharmacy until:

The prescription expires.
In other words, you run out of refills and need to get another prescription (order) from your doctor.

The prescription record is transferred to a new pharmacy.
You tell your existing pharmacy (where your prescription record is currently held) to send the prescription to a different pharmacy.

How To Transfer a Prescription to a New Pharmacy

The process to transfer a prescription and switch pharmacies is pretty straightforward and your new pharmacy will be able to help.

They will just need a couple pieces of information including:

  • Name, date of birth and other information needed to identify you.
  • Name of the medications you would like to transfer
  • Pharmacy where you are filling the prescription currently

This information will enable the new pharmacy to contact your old pharmacy and request a prescription transfer.

One thing to keep in mind is that pharmacies can only see prescriptions you are filling with them. They cannot see a record of prescriptions you have filled at another pharmacy. As a result, we recommend transferring every prescription if you decide to switch pharmacies.


Because filling all of your prescriptions at a single pharmacy allows the pharmacist in charge to see your entire medication regimen and identify potential adverse reactions between medications. In other words, it helps the pharmacist keep you safe.

Nevertheless, if you do decide to fill prescriptions at multiple pharmacies, just be sure to let your pharmacist know about any other medications you are taking.

And most importantly, be sure to ask anytime you have questions about your medication.

How Long Does a Prescription Transfer Take?

Once a request has been made, a prescription transfer will take anywhere from a couple hours to an entire day.

Most will be on the shorter side of this and almost all will happen within 24 hours.

However, if the process is taking a while or you need to speed it up for any reason, you can always call your old pharmacy personally.

Your existing pharmacy is legally required to comply if you request a prescription transfer.

In other words, they cannot prevent you from switching pharmacies.

Finally, once the prescription has been transferred to your new pharmacy, the pharmacist will dispense the medication on your next prescription refill date as indicated by your doctor.

Can I Fill a Prescription at Any Pharmacy?

The short answer is yes, you can fill a prescription at any pharmacy.

However, in some cases your health insurance plan and the medication you need will play a role.

For example, some insurance plans have preferred pharmacies. That means they will incentivize or even restrict you to using those pharmacies if you are paying with insurance.

Likewise, less frequently requested medications such as special cancer drugs may require a specialty pharmacy which your doctor can recommend.

The easiest way to find out if a pharmacy can fill your prescription is to call them.

Pharmacy Delivery: How to Transfer Your Prescriptions

In the past few years, it has become much easier to transfer your prescription for home delivery.

For example, here at NowRx Pharmacy, the process only takes a few minutes.

All you need to do is fill out our online prescription transfer form and one of our local pharmacists will reach out via phone.

Then, once we have gotten the prescription record transferred from your old pharmacy, we will deliver your medication same-day for no charge!

Prescription Transfer

Prescription transfers are not as complicated as they seem.

If you like to learn more about prescription transfers or have questions about the prescription delivery process, just send us an email at

We will be happy to help you out and answer any questions you have!

About NowRx Pharmacy

NowRx Pharmacy is a new kind of local pharmacy built from the ground up to deliver a better pharmacy experience. We use modern technology inside the pharmacy to provide better pricing, better service, and better convenience. Visit our NowRx Pharmacy Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.

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