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Alexia Esq.
Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
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This is for a pharmacist or an attorney; Im not sure which. Ten

Customer Question

This is for a pharmacist or an attorney; I'm not sure which.

Ten days ago, I had a prescription filled for 10 mg generic Norco. I am scheduled to go on a family camping "reunion" trip and will be deep in the woods when my prescription is refillable. I tried to get my pharmacist to refill it early (approximately 2 weeks) so that I could take the medication with me. I was going to pay for it myself since I knew that my insurance would not cover it that early.

The pharmacist said that he could fill it no sooner that 5 days early. Question: Is that time limitation true for all Texas pharmacists or can I "shop around" for one who is more cooperative? I don't want to break the law, but it's difficult to get a prescription filled in the middle of a forest. By the way, I live in Texas. Thank you..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thanks for your inquiry! I have been practicing law for 17+ years and have specific experience with issues similar to yours. That being said...

I am finding that it is variable, depending on the pharmacist (and/or the corporation he works for and the rules they place on their workers). According to the DEA:

Section 1306.14 Labeling of substances and filling of prescriptions.

...
(e) Where a prescription that has been prepared in accordance with section 1306.12(b) contains instructions from the prescribing practitioner indicating that the prescription shall not be filled until a certain date, no pharmacist may fill the prescription before that date.


http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/cfr/1306/1306_14.htm

Full codes sections on Prescriptions:
http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/cfr/2106cfrt.htm

Moreover, even with a regular first prescription, the pharmacist is not prohibited from filling it on the spot unless the doctor indicated it couldn't be filled until after XX date. Now, that doesn't mean anything goes, because pharmacists have a broad duty to not fill a prescription if they have reason to believe it is not appropriate (such as too early), but it tells us that generally, there is no DEA mandate. In the "refill" sections of the code, there is nothing proscribing early refills at a particular date.

Texas State Board of Pharmacy tells us:

"...in making the decision to refill a prescription, the pharmacist must consider how long the medication should last (based on the directions for use and the quantity dispensed), and may refill it only after an appropriate amount of time has elapsed between refills. If you wish to receive a larger quantity of medication, the pharmacist must contact the doctor for authorization."
http://www.tsbp.state.tx.us/consumer/broch4.htm

Now, that being said, many pharmacists won't refill unless within 5 days. Some carriers actually limit coverage to those refills filled within 5 days. Other pharmacists go 6-7 days, etc. Some only go 2 days. (My son's asthma medication we can not fill until within 5 days...)

However, your doctor can simply issue a new prescription for the additionals. For instance, if the 15 pills you have left + 10 pills more will get you to the 3rd day after you get back (when you can get that refill), the doctor can prescribe you those 10 extra, now, and a Pharmacist will fill it.

14 days early may be a stretch, when a Pharmacist would be taking a liability / professional risk in taking a customer's word for it that he will be camping and can't possibly get to a pharmacy. This is particularly so when it is a strong pain medication,a narcotic, and the type that people get addicted to and at times overuse the medication (from a dosage/rx point of view) when their tolerance level rises, making their 1 month supply last only 2 weeks. A pharmacist has no personal knowledge of the truth, (and this is no reflection on you of course!) and so it is not unlikely that 14 days may not be permitted by any of them - I don't know that you will find a pharmacist that will go that far. Rather, you may just want to get your doctor to issue you an abbreviated prescription for the gap period, rather than run around trying to find a lenient pharmacist.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you need follow up before or after RATING me. And PLEASE know that my job depends on a POSITIVE rating now and at least an 8-10 feedback rating later. Thanks! I won't forget your support.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.



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Repeat reminder: Due to rules of our states, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information in order that you may have a starting point for helping yourself and presenting your issue to your lawyer if need be. I am an Attorney in the U.S. but I am not your attorney.

Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11837
Experience: 19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
Alexia Esq. and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

To Alexia, Esq: Thank you for your quick and informative answer. It was exactly what I needed to know. (I left you a $12.50 tip, by the way). Thanks again. Linda

Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Linda, and thanks for keeping me informed :)

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Alexia Esq.
Alexia Esq.
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19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.