How Many Days Early Can You Fill A Prescription At Walgreens

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

As one of the largest drugstore chains in the United States, Walgreens stores offers customers the option to conveniently refill their prescriptions on a regular basis.

As a Walgreens customer, you may wonder if your prescription can get your prescription early instead of waiting for the scheduled time according to the Walgreens early refill policy. Here’s what I’ve discovered during my investigation!

What is Walgreens’ refill policy?

If you have a prescription for Schedule III or IV controlled drugs, Walgreens will refill it 3 days before the due date.

It is necessary to obtain a new prescription for every refill of Schedule II prescriptions, as Schedule II controlled substances are heavily regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Finally, like most pharmacies, Walgreens will abide by your healthcare provider or insurance company and their prescribed refill and limit schedule and limits. Even your small, local pharmacies will do this.

It doesn’t matter if you need your prescriptions refilled early to restock medicine if it isn’t within the three day limit. When it comes to doing so, how should you proceed? When is it possible to have your prescriptions filled more quickly? What are you waiting for?

Why won’t Walgreens refill a prescription as early as you want?

For the sake of preventing drug abuse and misuse, pharmacies and insurance companies limit the amount of time you can get a refill.

Some people might use this service to get early refills from multiple stores and thus feed their addiction or trade supplies on the black market. This is an example of an exploitative use of the service.

How early can you get a Walgreens refill depending on your insurance plan?

The instructions and limitations set by your healthcare or insurance provider restrict Walgreens’ ability to process refills earlier than 3 days in advance when filling prescriptions for customers.

In most cases, insurance and healthcare providers do not cover refills made within three days of the original prescription. As a result, Walgreens will refuse to refill your prescription before this date.

Because of this, best course of action is to contact your insurance provider and find out if there are any early refill restrictions and how to request one.

You can also check your refill status on Walgreen’s website by RX number or account name, allowing you to keep track of when you’re eligible for a refilled prescription. You can also set-up auto-refill on your prescription, eliminating the need to call ahead of time or go in and wait.

You can also contact Walgreens by phone and speak with their pharmacist to find out when you are eligible for to refill a prescription.

Can Walgreens fill your prescription early in any circumstance?

The good news is, Walgreens can refill your prescription earlier than the normal 3 day limit in very specific circumstances.

The following situations will allow you to get your prescriptions refilled ahead of schedule:

  • You’re going on a trip or vacation, so you’ll need to pack additional supplies.
  • You have a police report to show your insurance provider, doctor, and pharmacist that your medication was stolen.
  • Due to an impending weather emergency (such as a hurricane), and you will need your prescription refills before the weather gets too bad. This will depend on what prescription medications you need filled.

What are your options for getting your prescriptions refilled sooner rather than later?

It’s important to plan ahead and communicate with your pharmacy and insurance provider to ensure that your prescription is refilled on time.

Depending on your insurance provider, you may not have to do anything more than tell Walgreens about your situation.

On the other hand, your doctor’s prescription may need to be updated to specify a longer supply, such as 60 days rather than 30 days.

Can you get a controlled substance refill early?

You should contact your healthcare provider immediately if you need an early refill of a controlled substance in the event of an emergency.

Requests for an early refill can then be made by your healthcare provider to Walgreens (or any other pharmacy). Walgreens will require a written and signed prescription from you in order to obtain the medication.

Unless otherwise specified in the prescription, you will only be able to obtain medications for use during the specified treatment period.

Learn more about Walgreens by reading our previous posts on how long Walgreen will hold a prescription, and whether or not Walgreens has ATMs available for when you need to pay cash for your filled prescription.

Bottom Line

The maximum number of days that Walgreens will wait before refilling a prescription for a Schedule III or IV drug is 3 days according to the early refill limits set by most insurance companies and healthcare providers.

Every time you refill a controlled substance, you’ll need to bring a new prescription with you, instead of having a previous prescription refilled. It’s because controlled medicine has a higher frequency of being misused and abused.

Frequently asked questions

Can a pharmacist refuse to refill a prescription?

Yes, a pharmacist using his or her professional judgment may legally refuse to refill a prescription for a prescribed medication in extreme cases, such as if you have explained that you plan to use the prescription for something other than a legitimate medical purpose, or if your written prescription is fraudulent.

What is an Emergency Prescription?

An Emergency Prescription is non-controlled drugs or controlled drugs that are intended for immediate use by the patient. Such medications are not provided for at home use, nor can you obtain large quantities of it.

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