How Do Pharmacies Handled Prescriptions Not Picked Up

When I used to travel for my job a long while back (early 00’s) I had placed an order for a refill on my prescription (albuterol for asthma and Ziac for blood pressure). I noticed when I had the prescription at Walgreens, Duane Reed, or CVS if I failed to pick up the prescription I would lose it.

In other words if I had 6 refills and I didn’t pick one up, when I re-ordered it I had only 5 refills left. In otherwords even though they didn’t charge me I lost one refill

Now on January 8th I refilled a prescription for Ziac with Walmart and I didn’t get around to picking it up. I had two refills left, now I went to refill it, I still have two refills left. They didn’t subtract the one I failed to pick up off of it.

Is this unique to Walmart or did something change?

At the pharmacy I work at, and all the ones I know, we keep scripts filled for about 2 weeks. If not picked up, and we can’t reach you to find out if you are getting it soon, then we reverse the transaction in the computer system and the insurance. We then put the drugs back on the shelf, after blocking out the name on the vial.

You keep any refills that are remaining, it ends up being like that fill never happened.

I have had insurance screw-ups and told them I couldn’t take the prescription when I went to pick it up. They always told me it was no problem and restocked it. I guess there could be a super-perishable drug liquids that are custom compounded or flavored that they can’t restock but they probably have that figured out already and usually fill it when you show up. Regular pills and sealed bottles just go right back on the shelf.

Two options:
If the prescription is new, and this is the first fill, the prescription goes on hold until it expires. Usually 1 year for non-controlled meds.
If the prescription is a refill, the fill is deleted and returned to the “total” number of fills you have left. No refills lost.
Sounds like a computer error on the part of the first pharmacy.

From my experience in DE, & I’m a current CPhT of 6+ years, after a few days/week, we’d call. If not picked up, the meds would go back on the shelf & stock re-entered. Your Px would remain unaffected except that it would continue until expiration (depending on the schedule class). Different states & stores might vary according to the area, but it would seem to me to be worth questioning; it doesn’t seem correct procedure that your Px would be deducted unless the date expired, but that doesn’t seem to be your case.