How To Transfer a Prescription to Another Pharmacy

Written by Phil Rossi

NowRx Pharmacy

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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. In fact, there are thousands of transfers from one pharmacy to another across the country each day!

If you are trying to understand how to transfer your prescription to a new pharmacy, this article will help you get started and answer some common questions you might have.

Let’s dive in!

What Is A Prescription

Before jumping right into the process of transferring 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.

While you may have multiple prescriptions, each prescription is unique and only one pharmacy can have that particular prescription at any given time. In addition, a prescription must be filled by a doctor the pharmacy will fill that order and dispense the medication.

Although, that may seem a little confusing, here is an easy way to remember it.

Doctors write prescriptions.

Pharmacies dispense medications.

When your doctor sends a prescription to the pharmacy electronically, or if you bring a paper copy, the pharmacy creates and maintains a record until the prescription expires or the prescription record is transferred to a new pharmacy.

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 require you to use those pharmacies if you are paying with insurance.

Likewise, less frequently requested medications such as special cancer drugs may require a specialty pharmacy that your doctor can recommend. The easiest way to find out if a pharmacy can fill your prescription is to call them.

What Does It Mean To Transfer A Prescription

Simply put, a prescription transfer is when you decide to move your prescriptions from one pharmacy to another. In other words, it means you are filling your prescription at a new pharmacy.

Although there are a number of reasons you might decide to switch pharmacies, some of the more common ones include:

However, no matter what your reason is for transferring a prescription from one pharmacy to another, the process is straightforward and relatively easy to do.

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 little 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 currently filling the prescription.

This information will enable the new pharmacy to contact your old pharmacy and request the prescription record be transferred.

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. This 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 of 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 a pharmacy refuse to transfer a prescription?

A pharmacy cannot refuse to transfer your prescription to another pharmacy. The pharmacist of your existing pharmacy is legally required to comply with a prescription transfer request. In other words, they cannot prevent you from switching pharmacies.

However, there are some cases where your new pharmacy may decline to fill the prescription. For example, the pharmacist may refuse to fill a prescription for a number of reasons related to consumer safety. Although, this is rare

How to Transfer Prescription for Pharmacy Delivery

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

For example, here at NowRx, we have an online transfer form that allows you to get started in seconds. Once the form is complete, one of our local pharmacists will reach out by phone to collect any additional information we need to set up a delivery. Finally, once we receive the prescription record from your existing pharmacy, we will deliver the medication same day for free.

You can also call any one of our local pharmacies to transfer a prescription over the phone.

Transferring Prescriptions

Transferring a prescription from one pharmacy to another may seem difficult but in reality, it is straightforward and pain-free. Although it will require some effort on your part, your new pharmacy can help you get started with a little bit of information.

Just remember:

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

If you have questions about how to switch pharmacies or where to get started, send us an email at

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