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Why does it take so long to get your prescription filled?

October 22, 2021
3-5
 min
Three people are standing at pharmacy counter. A female pharmacist helps a female customer with a payment transaction. A man stands behind the female customer waiting to be served.

You're given a prescription from your doctor. You decide to take it to a pharmacy and wait for it in-store. You drive to a pharmacy, walk in, lurk around the counter until the person speaking with the pharmacy technician leaves, and you "place your order," announcing that you will wait for it.


You soon find yourself browsing the greeting card section while you hang onto an electronic device you hope will start buzzing any time now. While you're anxiously waiting to be summoned, your pharmacy team is just getting started. You see, while you're hanging around the store, they're trying to decipher your doctor's handwriting to figure out what exactly has been prescribed, the dosage, method of delivery (i.e. oral, injection, inhalation), and the instructions for taking it.

And if it's not clear, they'll need to call your physician's office (which as you know, never answers the phone).


After eventually figuring out what it is you've been prescribed, it needs to be entered into the computer system that tracks your medication history. The pharmacist will then review what you're currently taking and ensure what you've been prescribed is right for you.

They will also look for any potential hazards such as side effects or drug interactions with previously dispensed medications that could be of concern. If there's an issue, the pharmacist may recommend something else, and a call will have to be placed to your doctor's office.


Once the order has been confirmed, a pharmacy technician will select the appropriate drug, brand, strength, form and quantity, and then package it up, review the instructions, gather informational pamphlets, apply cautionary labels and document everything in the system.

Think this is where you get paged? Not so fast!

Several people waiting in very long line.

When everything has been prepped and deemed "ready," the overseeing pharmacist is required to do a final check to ensure your safety and well-being.

But unfortunately, you're not the only person waiting to pick up a prescription, and before you can be called, the sole pharmacist must meet with another patient to discuss the changes in their medical condition and the side effects their new meds might cause. So, you'll have to wait a bit longer.


Buzz, buzz, buzz! You're being paged! You race over to the counter only to find there's a lineup. You stand patiently waiting while your pager goes nuts, buzzing and beeping, until you finally reach the pharmacist. They tell you about the new drug you're being given, what you can expect, the best time of day to take it, and then asks if you have any questions. You say no, and you're on your way.


Pharmacies are extremely busy places. There are always delays, unreturned calls to doctor offices, insurance issues, and then having to explain what's going on to patients who just don't understand why it takes so long.

On top of that, retail pharmacies offer more than just pharmaceutical services, and these also take up time that would otherwise be used to prepare your order (like giving flu shots, helping customers pick out a cough syrup and ringing up groceries or cosmetics).

Excuse me, your life is waiting for you.

Woman jumping in the air with joy.

So, you see, the next time you need to get a prescription filled, be sure to order online with Pillway and we’ll make sure you get it directly to your door and that you have what you need, when you need it.

Happy senior woman smiling while looking at her laptop computer.

No more waiting in line or calling your doctor’s office for refills - spend your time the way you WANT to.

Happy young woman wearing straw hat, stands outside with her arms extended.

And let us handle the rest.

Happy man with arm extended out car window. The sun is setting in the background.g

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