Coverage and cost
How is a prescription filled?
What happens after you give your prescription to the pharmacist? The pharmacist and the pharmacy technician work together to provide you with safe and efficient pharmacy services. Six quality steps are included:
- Assess. The pharmacist assesses if the medication is correct for you. For example, there are some medications a middle-aged man would take that would not be appropriate for a teenage girl. The pharmacist also checks the strength of the dosage and the length of prescribed use. The assessment is finished when the pharmacist decides that the prescription is appropriate based on the information available to the pharmacist.
- Enter. The pharmacist or pharmacy technician enters your prescription and insurance information into the computer. This information includes your name and address, your doctor's name, medication, directions and indications. (Indications are the reasons the drug was prescribed.)
- Edit. This means that your information is checked against your health plan coverage. This check verifies that you are an eligible member of your health plan. It also identifies available generic substitutes and what drugs are covered by your health plan. It checks for any drug interactions. It only takes a few seconds for the computer to check all of this information. The computer then sends back any edits or discrepancies for the pharmacist to address.
- Fill. The pharmacist or pharmacy technician fills your prescription.
- Check. The pharmacist does a final check of the prescription. This ensures that you are getting the correct medication and the correct dose according to your prescription.
- Consult. When you pick up your prescription, you'll talk with the pharmacist. He or she will explain your prescription and give you time to ask questions.
The process of filling one prescription doesn't take much time. However, some pharmacies process hundreds of prescriptions each day. Depending on prescription volume, the pharmacist and pharmacy technician might take a few minutes or several hours to complete this six-step process for your prescription.