Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Prescription rules have been eased so Irma evacuees can get their medications

Keith Cotner, of Brooksville, left, and Chetan Shah, of Palm Harbor, owner of Anclote Pharmacy, center, work together to fill prescriptions at the pharmacy in Tarpon Springs. Pharmacies are filling emergency prescriptions for residents in Florida before Hurricane Irma. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

Keith Cotner, of Brooksville, left, and Chetan Shah, of Palm Harbor, owner of Anclote Pharmacy, center, work together to fill prescriptions at the pharmacy in Tarpon Springs. Pharmacies are filling emergency prescriptions for residents in Florida before Hurricane Irma. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

Florida residents who are considering evacuating the state before Hurricane Irma are advised to check in with their local pharmacies as soon as possible to receive medication refills that can last through the duration of the Category 5 storm and its aftermath.

The state Office of Insurance Regulation issued a notice to health care providers that they must waive time restrictions on prescription refills after Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Florida on Wednesday.

Insurance provider Florida Blue is allowing members in Florida to get temporary 30-day emergency supplies of medication from in-network pharmacies, which include those out of state, from Sept. 5-19. Members who choose an out-of-network pharmacy may not be able to fill their prescriptions early, according to a press release. Most third-party plans are allowing for expedited 30-day refills as well.

Florida Blue encourages patients to take their medication as prescribed during and after the storm. Residents should also keep a list of all their medications and dosages with other important documents in a safe and dry location.

RELATED COVERAGE: Impact on Tampa Bay depends on when Irma turns right

Publix is processing a record number of prescriptions in Florida this week in anticipation of Hurricane Irma, said Brian West, a spokesman for the Lakeland-based grocer. Publix pharmacy customers can have a prescription refilled at any Publix location, he said.

CVS is allowing pharmacists to provide one-time emergency refills on 10-day supplies of medication for CVS Caremark and CVS Health plan members in areas impacted by Hurricane Irma. In addition, CVS is making automated calls and using its mobile app to remind patients who live in Florida to place refill orders as soon as possible.

Walgreens and Winn-Dixie are also providing emergency refills on maintenance medications that are non-controlled substances. If Winn-Dixie customers are evacuating the state, they can also refill prescriptions at pharmacies in other Southeastern Grocers chain stores, like Bi-Lo, which has grocery stores in the Carolinas and Harveys Supermarket, which has stores in Georgia. With more than 8,200 locations nationwide, Walgreens customers can call or use the pharmacy's mobile app to refill prescriptions at any location in the country.

If a Walgreens store is forced to close because of the hurricane, customers can find updates on when stores will reopen at Walgreens.com and on the mobile app.

RELATED COVERAGE: How to use the internet during a hurricane when the internet is down

At Walmart and Sam's Club, customers can refill prescriptions online or in stores.

"Prescriptions are an important part of being prepared for an evacuation. Our pharmacies are dedicated to providing prescriptions and immunizations to customers in all areas of Florida during this emergency," said Regan Dickens, a spokesman for Walmart. "We are working with our supplies to help stay in stock, and our pharmacies will remain open as long as conditions remain safe for our customers and associates."

Contact Justine Griffin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

Tips to remember for prescription medication:

• Follow evacuation orders first. Get to a safe location before you refill your medications at the nearest pharmacy. This allows you to avoid potentially long lines at your local pharmacy, and you won't needlessly delay your evacuation. Most chain pharmacies can access patient information from any location.

• With a state of emergency declared in all 67 counties in Florida, pharmacists in the state can refill medications up to a 30-day supply without requiring a prescriber's refill authorization for any non-controlled substance.

• Take a waterproof bag with your current medication, even if the bottle is empty. The information on the prescription label will help pharmacy staff with refill requests. Heat, humidity and sunlight can degrade the effectiveness of medicine, so try to protect it from extreme weather conditions.

• Keep a written record of your current prescriptions in your valuable papers files. If you are taking several prescription drugs, it's an especially good idea to keep a record of your current dosage and doctor's contact information. Walgreens patients can register online at Walgreens.com and print out this information directly from their patient profile.

Source: Walgreens

Prescription rules have been eased so Irma evacuees can get their medications 09/07/17 [Last modified: Thursday, September 7, 2017 4:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Forecast: Sunny skies, drier air dominate throughout Tampa Bay region

    Weather

    Drier air continues to filter into the Tampa Bay area on Tuesday, with clear skies and a slight chance of light rain during the afternoon.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Florida education news: Makeup days, graduation honors, sex education and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: Hillsborough County schools will eliminate four early release days to meet minimum state time per course, after missing seven days because of Hurricane Irma. • Indian …

    School classrooms are back up and running after Hurricane Irma. Districts are now setting makeup schedules for time missed.
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: Bucs' Gerald McCoy frustrated with disrespectful fans

    Bucs

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss Gerald McCoy's latest comments on disrespectful fans who attack his teammates, Donald Trump, protests by DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, and his respect for the …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) warms up before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  4. Tampa heading into several tough budget years

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Less pain now, more pain later.

    The Tampa City Council will hold a final public hearing on the proposed 2018 city budget and property tax rate at 5 p.m. Thursday on the third floor of Old City Hall, 315 E Kennedy Blvd.
  5. The Daystarter: Rick vs. Rick 2.0 tonight; Bucs' McCoy says some fans cross line; Trump associate to testify; helicopter crashes onto Odessa roof

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

     

    Rescuers respond to a crash of a small helicopter on the roof of a home in the Odessa area on Monday. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]