How can I get extra medication to put in an emergency supply kit?


Q: How do I get a supply of my parent's medications to stock in their emergency preparedness kit? The pharmacy refuses to fill them.

A: Individuals who pay cash can explain to the dispensing pharmacy that they are preparing for an emergency. Those with prescription drug plans usually have a more difficult time.

I would suggest contacting their prescription drug plan customer service department through the toll free number on the prescription drug card. Ask if they have a provision for emergencies.

They may offer vacation refills but this process doesn't work because this process doesn't allow the insured to set aside the medicine, it only allows the insured to obtain prescriptions early.

You could also refill each prescription 3 or 4 days early over each of the next few months. After which, you would be able to set aside a 7 to 10 day supply for an emergency. Usually there are fewer problems with maintenance meds. Controlled substances, medications that may be abused, may be more difficult to handle this way.

To avoid the day to day emergencies, avoid last minute refill requests and always take note of the refill status of each prescription. None of us should ever run out of our medications.

Medication management is an important component of elder care. Its good to think ahead about emergency situations.

Lynn Harrelson is a pharmacist who specializes in medication and prescription management for seniors. She provides health care services and information that help individuals remain independent in their homes, retirement and assisted living facilities.

Senior Pharmacy Solutions

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I simply asked my PCP if she would be prepared to prescribe an additional separate three month supply of my regular medications and she readily agreed. separate prescriptions were written for each of my regular medications and I took them to my regular pharmacy (Walmart) had them filled and paid for them separately from my regular drug plan. Not very expensive because I try to use generics when possible. I store them altogether in a container in the freezer. In my 72 hour kit I have a small container that holds a four day supply. very easy for me to do but my PCP did not question, neither did my pharmacist and it did not affect my regular refills since they were one off scripts for 90 days with no refills
Every time Mom went into hospital or rehab, they provided her meds, so I ended up with leftovers. Now that she is in NH, I bring extra meds with me so I can keep her on schedule if I take her out of the NH for the day. This is especially helpful because the NH is not allowed to give me the narcotic meds she needs when I take her out. My having the extras on hand keeps her on schedule.