Walmart is America’s largest retailer and has a wide variety of services, including a growing Pharmacy Department. You should know that despite its size and the large number of employees Walmart has hired, you need to know how to navigate your way through the system to ensure you get your prescriptions when you need them, with the correct dosage.
Telephone customer support is provided by Walmart locally, at your nearest Walmart store. This can be a bit of a problem, depending on your location because the same pharmacist that answers the phone will also be a Walmart pharmacist who is serving customers waiting in line at the store. If you hate leaving voice messages you probably want to use the convenience option and stop in at the pharmacy while you do your normal shopping.
This is more of an inconvenience than an actual problem by choosing the Walmart Pharmacy. But the large number of features and benefits a Walmart Pharmacy offers outweighs any of the minor issues.
If Walmart is your go-to place for your weekly grocery shopping, it makes sense to check out what their Pharmacy Department offers. To help you get started as a Walmart Pharmacy customer, here are 20 common Walmart Pharmacy questions answered.
1. What are the pharmacy’s store hours?
Most locations will have a pharmacy member on staff between the hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the normal weekday. The weekends will usually cut their closing time by 2 hours, closing at 7 p.m.
But it depends on where you live. These regular hours can be found in most medium to large size cities. Rural areas may find shorter hours. If the shopping part of Walmart is closed, you will not be able to access the pharmacy.
2. Is it possible to pick up my prescription at any Walmart location?
The answer to this question is – it depends. In order to make this happen you need to have an online Walmart Pharmacy account. You can open one by going to Walmart and following the links. You do not need to give them a payment method to perform the transfer but you will need to provide one if you want to pay in advance.
3. Can I have my prescriptions mailed to me?
This is another question that is answered with “it depends.” Despite the size of the Walmart Pharmacy, it does not have agreements in place with every insurance company to authorize sending your drugs by mail. Even some large companies such as Aetna do not have agreements in placer.
You will want to call your local Walmart Pharmacy and ask them if it is possible. You may be told to call an 800 number to connect you with someone who can answer specific questions about your insurance company benefits. If your insurance company nixes the idea, usually you will be referred to a company that will deliver your prescriptions via mail. It’s a process, but once you go through the steps life will be easier.
4. Does Walmart accept Medicaid and Medicare?
Yes. You can use most Medicare Supplement insurance plans to pay for your prescriptions, but not all. But know that there are certain things out of the hands of the Walmart Pharmacy staff. For example, the doctor may order a prescription for a 90 day supply but your insurance company only allows a 60 day supply.
This is completely out of the hands of the pharmacist, frustrating as this may be. Once you start using the pharmacy service you will quickly get comfortable knowing the limitations of the pharmacist and your insurance coverage.
5. Can I transfer my prescriptions to another pharmacy or have my current pharmacy send my prescriptions over to Walmart?
The answer to both questions is yes. The process is simple. Just call or stop in at your local Walmart Pharmacy with a list of your prescriptions and they will be happy to assist you. You should expect the transfer to be completed within 24 – 48 hours, though sometimes dealing with smaller pharmacies can take longer. Once you have authorized the transfer you need to double check to make sure all your prescriptions have arrived at your chosen pharmacy.
6. If my prescription has expired, will the pharmacy renew it for me?
A pharmacist does not have the authority to renew any patient’s prescription. It must be done by your doctor with their written authorization. For those new to the world of prescriptions, many doctor’s offices will send the authorization via fax machine to confirm the doctor’s signature. The time when your refill is authorized is mostly dependent on your doctor’s office, not the pharmacy. New prescriptions will have to be entered into your account, so may take a bit longer.
7. Does the Walmart Pharmacy offer a mobile app?
Of course! As they say, there is an app for everything and Walmart is no exception. Available for both the iOS and Android operating systems, you can do all the basics from your smartphone, including transferring your prescriptions and using their Express Pickup feature that allows you to get in and out quickly. You can download the app from Google Play or the AppStore.
8. What about Auto Refill?
Many prescriptions can be automatically refilled without you doing a thing. You will be notified by email or text message that your prescriptions are waiting to be picked up. But there are some limitations. Some prescriptions are not allowed to be authorized for auto refill due to federal, state, or local laws.
In most cases the doctor will not authorize more than a 30 day supply, or less depending on the type of drug such as opioid-based medications. All you need to do is set up Auto Refill. In most cases you will be allowed a 90 day supply before returning to the doctor for a prescription renewal.
9. Will my local Walmart Pharmacy deliver my prescriptions to my door?
No. This is done through the mail order system described earlier. If you currently have a Walmart Pharmacy account and need to have your drugs delivered to your home, you will need to check to see if there is a local pharmacy that offers a home delivery service and have your prescriptions transferred to them.
10. Does Walmart have a specialty pharmacy?
Many people have yet to find out, but in 2017 Walmart was accredited to open specialty pharmacies in its stores. To find out if one has opened in your area you will need to contact your local Walmart Pharmacy. If there is not one in your area, be patient as the company continues to expand its pharmacy service options.
11. Can someone else pick up my prescription?
In most cases the answer is yes but there are some exceptions. Most of the exceptions are a matter of state or local laws, so you will need to call customer service to be sure. One example of a restriction is someone else picking up your controlled substance prescription.
What is usually required is a valid photo ID that will be recorded by the pharmacy to specifically identify who has received the medication. You will want to print out a copy of your Walmart Pharmacy account Online Refill Confirmation to make things easier for your pharmacist.
12. I received my first prescription from my local Walmart Pharmacy. Where is the prescription number and expiration date on the packaging?
Look at the left side of your prescription label, near the top. There you will find a 7 digit number which is your prescription number. Next, look towards the bottom of the label and that is where you will find the expiration date. The label will not only show the expiration date but the number of refills available. You should not wait until the exact day of the expiration to reorder.
13. How do the prices of Walmart Pharmacy drugs compare to the competition?
Walmart continues to be price competitive in every facet of its business, including the Pharmacy Department. The prices of some medications are largely determined by your insurance company, but Walmart continues to work with suppliers to insure you get the lowest possible price.
They offer a 90 day refill discount for some of the most common drugs, so you will want to stay in touch with your local Walmart Pharmacy to know when special discounts become available.
14. What is Walmart doing to combat opioid abuse?
In May of 2018, the company announced it is limiting the filling of opioid prescriptions to a maximum of 7 days per refill. Walmart takes the opioid epidemic very seriously and works with federal, state, and local agencies to prevent the spread of the epidemic at all its locations, including Sam’s Club.
15. Where can I get a history of my filled prescriptions?
The easiest way to do this is by creating a Walmart Pharmacy account online by going to their Pharmacy portal and following the links to the Pharmacy Department. Once your account is set up, you can access all kinds of information with a simple point and click. Your prescription history can be downloaded and printed out for tax purposes or to bring to your new doctor.
16. Does the pharmacy fill prescriptions for my pet?
Yes. This is one of the more customer friendly aspects of the Walmart Pharmacy. You don’t have to go to two different stores to take care of your and your pet’s medication needs. They also have a selection of non-prescription pet medications that makes Walmart a one-stop store for all your pets’ needs.
17. Can I get a flu shot at any Walmart Pharmacy?
Every Walmart Pharmacy encourages their customers to get an annual flu shot as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The good news is that most insurance companies will cover the complete cost of the vaccination, so all you need to do is bring proof of insurance, even if you do not already have a Walmart Pharmacy account. Adults and children can both get vaccinated at the pharmacy. Be sure to discuss getting the flu shot with your doctor before coming into the store.
18. What about other immunizations? I travel out of the country during the year.
Travelling abroad is an important issue and is separate from other immunization and vaccination services your Walmart Pharmacy offers. Different countries have different health requirements. This is why there is a trained staff of pharmacists you can meet with to discuss your specific requirements. The best way to do this is to call your local Walmart Pharmacy and arrange a time that is best for everyone to discuss your specific needs.
19. Is the local pharmacy equipped to handle all the back-to-school vaccinations required for my children?
Walmart takes back-to-school immunizations very serious. Not only do they meet with parents to give them the best information on school requirements, they also are available to meet with educators and school staff to discuss the best ways to achieve full compliance. Yes, they also are ready to vaccinate your child to ensure a safe and health learning environment.
20. I have heard of Walmart Care Clinics. What are they?
Three states, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina, currently have Walmart Care Clinics available for customers. The Care Clinics are offering a wide range of preventative and curative health services that can be accessed simply by walking in or by scheduling an appointment. For less than $100 you can get professional health care services even if you don’t have any medical insurance. If you do, that price can drop to $0. It can serve as a source of primary care, and lab tests can be conducted for an additional fee.
Written by Bill Vix
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