How To Get Prescription Refills When You Are Between Doctors

The pharmacist discusses what you can do to continue getting your prescription refills if you are between doctors or don't have a new doctor yet.

Question

I am making an appointment with a new doc, but my appointment won't be until October. I have meds that I take, so how can I get meds between now and October?

Asked by Cee On Apr 06, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Apr 08, 2018

You have a couple of options that may be of some help to continuing with your prescription medications while waiting to see your new doctor.  The best option is to talk to your current doctor who prescribed your medications if possible.  That doctor may be willing to refill your prescriptions to get you to October.


 A couple of considerations the doctor may take into account when deciding include:

  • When was your last visit: If it has been over a year, most doctors will not just refill a prescription without seeing a patient.  There are many things that could have changed in a patient's health and it would not be good practice to a refill a prescription for a patient that has not been seen in over a year.


  • The type of medication being prescribed: A prescriber may have no problems refilling a blood pressure medication for a patient that has been stable in his or her treatment.  It is a totally different story for patients who are unstable in their health or for patients taking drugs that need close monitoring, are controlled substances or have limitations on their prescribing by law.


  • Status of your health: As mentioned above, for patients who are stable and are generally in good health, refilling prescriptions, may not be a problem.  For patients that require close monitoring, who's health is in decline or with new medical problems, a doctor most likely will need to see those patients before refilling a prescription.


Should talking to your current doctor not be an option, then it will be necessary to have a discussion with the new doctor's office.  Call and see what that office's policies are on prescribing medications for patients that have not been seen yet.  


Also, ask if there is a list the office keeps for patients needing an earlier appointment.  A lot of times, offices will have patients cancel or reschedule appointments.  It is very likely a much earlier appointment may open up.


As a last resort, you can go to an urgent care center to see a doctor there.  Urgent care centers are not just for treatment of minor ailments like cold, flu or minor injuries.  Many are now being used by patients for more complicated care like diabetes, high blood pressure or acid reflex treatment.  


Hopefully, one of these options will work for you.  Communication with your health care providers a lot times can prevent problems for a patient before they even start.  

About the Pharmacist

Ms. Jennifer Hauder RPh

Jennifer Hauder is a registered pharmacist in the state of Illinois. She has over 10 years experience as a pharmacist in the retail and pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) settings. She became a pharmacist due to her interest in healthcare and the opportunity to help others with their healthcare needs. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, three children and two black labs Lucky and Charms.

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