The average American adult now takes 4 prescriptions, with over half of the total U.S. population taking a minimum of 1 at this time. Getting those prescriptions comes with several unique challenges. One of the biggest is getting the prescription to begin with. With most prescriptions lasting just 1 year from the filing date, you have to plan ahead to get your prescription renewed before it lapses. When you need to get a prescription from a doctor that tends to book out appointments months in advance, this can be a real challenge.
Going even a couple of days without your prescription can have big consequences. Even if it doesn’t affect your immediate health, it could affect your body’s ability to build up the medication in your system, which might reduce its effectiveness.
Whether you’ve let your prescription lapse and need a new one fast or you’re struggling to get an appointment, you might be wondering whether or not you can renew a prescription online. Keep reading to find out.
Can You Get a Prescription Online?
There was a time when getting a prescription always meant heading to your doctor’s office.
And if you want to get your prescription renewed from that same doctor, you’ll still need to do that. Even if you’ve been taking the same prescription at the same strength for years, your doctor will no doubt require a visit to renew that prescription.
They’ll want to check to make sure that your health hasn’t changed in the past year. Depending on your medication, they may make dosage adjustments because of changes in your health, weight, or other factors.
So if you’ve let your prescription lapse, don’t expect to be able to call your doctor and have that prescription renewed. However, if your prescription is going to lapse before you can get in for an appointment, many doctors will give you a refill on your prescription, sent directly to your pharmacy, to help get you through. That way you won’t have to go without your important medication.
But what if you aren’t attached to going to your normal doctor? Can you get a prescription online?
The answer is yes—in most cases, and with a catch.
You can’t simply order up a prescription online when you need one. Because all prescriptions must be prescribed directly by a doctor, you will still need to consult with one. But because you can now visit a doctor virtually, you can also receive a prescription virtually.
How to Get a Prescription
If you want to get a prescription online, you’ll first need to schedule a virtual doctor’s visit.
First, check to see if your current doctor offers virtual visits. Even before COVID-19, many doctors’ offices were beginning to offer virtual visits. This is a great option for those with health or mobility issues, who may struggle to get to the doctor. It’s also a great option for anyone who may be a U.S. citizen living abroad or even living in a remote location that’s hours away from your nearest doctor’s office.
If your doctor doesn’t offer virtual visits, don’t fret; there are plenty of online options where patients can connect with a doctor remotely and get their prescriptions.
A quick web search will turn up plenty of options for virtual doctor’s visits. Some are specific to types of illnesses or medications.
For instance, there are a variety of websites and companies that specialize in connecting women to doctors to get prescriptions for birth control and other related medications. There is also a big market for those looking for prescription medications to treat acne.
Some of these do not require an actual virtual visit. Instead, a doctor may review your information and prescribe a medication based on that alone.
Be sure to check with your insurance company to find out whether or not virtual visits are covered. You might find that one website accepts your insurance while another does not, so be sure to check in first before scheduling a visit to avoid having to pay out of pocket or having to pay as much.
Before your virtual visit, you’ll likely need to fill out some paperwork. You may need to provide previous medical records, prescriptions, and insurance information ahead of your visit.
Keep in mind that different doctors will take different approaches to treating conditions. You may not receive the same prescription that your previous doctor wrote for you. Be sure to ask during your virtual visit about how changing your prescription will affect you, and about any side effects that you may experience.
Ordering Your Medications on the Web
Once you have a prescription in hand, you then need to hunt down the best place to fill your prescription. Prescription costs can vary widely from one pharmacy to the next, and it can be tough to compare prices without going into each location.
Luckily, online pharmacies can help with this.
Online pharmacies make it easy to compare prices and shop around for your medications. They also help you avoid having to go to a pharmacy to drop off your prescription and then wait to get it filled. Instead, your prescription is delivered straight to your door. No waiting in line or worrying about missing a day of taking your medications if you can’t make it to the pharmacy.
If you’re ready to get a prescription that’s affordable without heading to your nearest pharmacy, start shopping at our online pharmacy today!