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Gazette Tech: Turn to the web to simplify prescription refills

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette

Sunday, July 28, 2013 — My wife and I have been customers of Crume Drug Store for many years. And for most of those years, the routine for getting prescriptions refilled has generally been the same as it has been for any pharmacy: Stop by the pharmacy or call them to request a prescription refill.

And frankly, this system works well, and for many pharmacy customers, continues to be their preferred method. However, thanks to technology, there are easier ways to request prescription refills.

Crume and most other local pharmacies now offer customers the option of requestiong refills via their website, which gives you the abililty to request refills any time of day or night, regardless of the pharmacy’s operating hours.

While it sounds simple, for me — someone who can forget to call the pharmacy if I don’t write it on my daily to-do list — the 24/7 nature of web prescription refills means I get the refills submitted regardless of usual time limitations. My last prescription refills were filled after midnight; they refills were there when I arrived later that morning to pick them up. It just can’t get much easier than that.

Most of the local pharmacies have similar features for requesting refills online, so here’s a quick run-down of features found on their individual websites.

web-logoCRUME DRUG STORE. Like all other pharmacies, Crume’s allows customers to create an account to access their prescription records. Once an account has been created, customers can either type in the individual prescription number, or select it from a list of current prescriptions. Selecting from a list allows you to easily refill more than on prescription at a time, and doesn’t require you to enter prescription numbers.

Crume’s also gives customers without an account the option of refilling prescrptions online too — enter the last name associated with the prescription and then the prescription numbers. This is a customer-friendly option for customers who haven’t yet signed up for an account but would like to make use of the web to request refills. Not every pharmacy offers unregistered users this option, so check your pharmacy for this option. Crume’s also offers free delivery in the city limits.

medicalogoMEDICA PHARMACY. Medica offers online refills using a system nearly identical to the one used by Crume’s. Customers with or without online accounts can get their prescriptions refilled. Both Crumes and Medica also offer refills via the Rx2Go smartphone/tablet app available for Apple and Android OS devices.

krogerKROGER PHARMACY. Kroger Pharmacy offers online prescription renewals too. Because of the large number of Kroger locations, customers are identified by the last four digits of their phone number, and they must also enter the 10-digit phone number of their local Kroger pharmacy.

walgreens_logo1WALGREENS. Walgreens requires users to sign up for an account for refills. Users can select the refills they need, request refill reminder texts or e-mails for future needs, and request the refill be sent by mail or held at the local store for pick-up.

walmart-pharmacy-logoWALMART PHARMACY. Customers who sign up for an online account with the big-box retailer can refill prescriptions online, transfer prescriptions, and view their prescription history. Home delivery is available in some areas, and they offer special pricing on selected prescription medicines. Walmart also has a smartphone app for Apple and Android-powered devices.

Many insurance plans offer mail-order refills, which are another option for customers. Personally, I prefer to get my refills locally rather than send my money to an out-of-state company. Online prescription renewals offer convenience and allow customers to maintain their local pharmacist, and all the customer support that makes the relationship worthwhile.

Check with your local pharmacy for their refill options, and take advantage of the available technology.

Jim Brooks has been a technology geek since building his first crystal radio in 1973, and a computer geek since buying his first home computer in 1984. For feedback on this column or submit your own column for the Gazette Tech feature, send an e-mail to editor@nelsoncountygazette.com.

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