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Pros and Cons of Transferring a Prescription

Updated on May 31, 2008

In the latest Target ad there was a coupon for a $10 gift card if you either fill a new prescription or transfer one from another pharmacy. I came very close to transferring a prescription I have for one of the kid's fluoride pills. There are a few reasons why I considered transferring it and a few reasons why I didn't end up doing it.

One of the benefits of transferring prescriptions around is that you can take advantage of special offers like the one I described above. CVS Pharmacy has a coupon out there currently offering $25 for a new or transferred prescription. To me this makes it very worthwhile to take the time to transfer - as long as you have a CVS location convenient to you.

Rite Aid has offered the same deal in the past, and one time I did take advantage of it. It ended up not working out so well, which is one of the reasons why it might not be a good idea to transfer a prescription. The closest Rite Aid to me was about 10 miles away, however I was going to be in the area during the coupon special and had a prescription that needed refilling, so I thought it would be no big deal to transfer it to Rite Aid.

Well after waiting for awhile and getting it transferred, they discovered they didn't even have the right pills in stock and would have to get them from another store. This meant I had to make an extra trip out to pick up the pills, making it not such a great deal. Next time I needed this prescription filled I transferred it back to a CVS closer to my house.

Another thing going against transferring a prescription is that it takes longer. The pharmacy has to call the old pharmacy and request a transfer, which takes time. Either you will need to come back later to pick it up or wait for longer than normal. By going to the new pharmacy in the middle of the day, during the week, you will cut your wait time, as those are the less busy times and both pharmacies will be open. Weekend hours may vary and if one pharmacy is closed the transfer will be delayed.

Yet another reason why not to transfer a prescription is in the instance of having numerous prescriptions that a person takes on a regular basis. It is important that the pharmacist knows about every medication a person takes so they can make sure strange reactions between drugs don't happen. If you have prescriptions scattered around over various pharmacies it will be impossible for a pharmacist to detect when reactions might happen.

Unless you want to switch a prescription to a new pharmacy, the only benefit I can see is the special offers pharmacies run periodically. Those special offers do make a difference. Over the past year I have gotten $50 in free gift cards for transferring prescriptions. With the rising costs of everything I am actively watching for opportunities to transfer again - specifically to my local grocery store that will sometimes offer $1 off per gallon of gas with a transferred prescription.

Keep your eyes out for other deals offered for transferring a prescription; it could very well be worth it. But also keep in mind the drawbacks. Knowing what you are getting yourself into will help you prepare ahead of time for what might happen - like an unexpected trip back to the pharmacy because they didn't have what you needed.


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    • profile image

      Joan 5 years ago

      Rita, my neighbor told me that he saves $400 a month using the prescription discount card from And that they have their prices posted on their website I'm going to check out my meds' prices.

    • profile image

      Mosz 9 years ago

      Hi Jennifer!

      Very informative Hub...I learned something. You put a very difficult subject into something everyone can understand...Good job and the best to you!


    • profile image

      Rita 9 years ago

      I’ve seen ads on TV for Caduet. It has two ingredients. One is Amlodipine and the other is Atorvastatin. With my RxDrugCard I can get 30 tablets of Amlodipine for $9 and 30 tablets of Simvastatin for $9. I’ll bet they are charging more than $18 for this new drug! Don’t pressure your doctor into giving you something just because it’s new. Do your homework. Find a drug card like I did at I think that is the best drug card available for prescription discounts.

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      We do not get great bribery like this in Australia, for prescriptions.

      May be you could write to Mr. Rudd (Prime Minister) on our behalf.

      Thank you

    • rodney southern profile image

      rodney southern 9 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      Great idea for a hub! Very nice job on this Jennifer