Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to commonly asked questions at the pharmacy.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I transfer my prescriptions from another pharmacy to Drug Mart?
The easiest way to transfer a prescription is to complete the registration form at getting started. If you need immediate service or would like to personally speak to a pharmacist, call the pharmacy at (800) 877-0337. We will get the required information to request a transfer of existing, transferable prescriptions from your current pharmacy or medical provider. In addition, we will need your insurance card and gather some basic information.
How do I order prescription refills?
Refills can be ordered by phone, through our website, or via text message.
- Call (800) 877-0337, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can speak directly to someone during business hours. Off-hours, you can leave a voice message for our pharmacy staff.
- On the pharmacy page click on Refill Your Prescription tab to securely place your refill order.
- Text us at (908) 991-6150 at anytime to place an order for your prescription refill.
How early should I order refills?
While we strive to refill orders the same day, we recommend that you order refills when you have a 5-7 day supply of medication left so that there will be no interruption in your medication regimen. This allows our staff to process refill authorization requests and address other possible issues with insurance and/or medication supply.
How long does it take to have medication delivered?
For delivery of refills in New Jersey on an existing prescription, you can generally expect to receive your delivery on the same day Monday thru Saturday when all the medications you are requesting have refills remaining. Prescriptions that need additional authorization from your provider or insurance company may take longer to process. For deliveries in New York or Pennsylvania, you can expect delivery the next business day.
What does “take with food” or “take on an empty stomach” really mean?
When dosing instructions indicate to “take with food,” it is generally recommended that you take the medication with a meal to avoid stomach or intestinal irritation. Other times, it is recommended that a medication be taken with a certain type of food, such as milk or cheese, to increase the amount of medicine absorbed by your body. When instructed to “take on an empty stomach,” medication should be taken either 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
Why do I need a new prescription from my provider each time I refill some of my prescriptions and not others?
State prescribing regulations require a standardized prescription for some drugs categorized as controlled substances each time they are filled.
What is the difference between the Medicare A/B plan billed by my doctor or hospital and a Medicare D plan?
The easiest way to explain this is that Medicare A covers inpatient and hospital associated costs; Medicare B is for outpatient medical care such as your physician’s office. A Medicare D plan is a prescription drug program offered by a third-party insurer in accordance with Medicare regulations. For more information, visit www.medicare.gov.
What is the difference between a brand name and a generic drug? Is one better than the other?
When a medication is first developed, the manufacturer has patent rights on the formula and/or compound. Once this patent right expires, other companies can produce generic versions of the drug that meet the same FDA requirements and regulations as the brand name drug. Most insurance companies require generic substitutions unless specifically requested by the prescriber or patient.
Why does the doctor call my medication by one name and the pharmacy label it with another?
Medications are generally identified by one of two names or an abbreviation. The brand name or trade name that is assigned by the manufacturer when it is introduced is the most common used by medical staff. The generic or chemical name is what will normally be printed on the label from your pharmacy since this is what they are actually dispensing. Many medications also have a commonly known abbreviation.
For example, a common medication used to treat high blood pressure is hydrochlorothiazide (generic name), which is commonly referred to as HCTZ (accepted abbreviation); the medication is manufactured by Merck & Co. as HydroDIURIL (brand name). We understand this can become confusing. Please do not hesitate to ask our pharmacy staff for clarification.
What should I do with the left over pills when my provider changes my medication regimen?
What should I do if my new pills don’t look like the ones I had before or the samples I got from my doctor’s office?
Medications from different manufacturers, while similar, may not always look exactly alike. If there is any question whether or not you received the correct drug or dosage, always contact us at the pharmacy or your provider’s office before taking the dose.
Who do I call if I think I’m having a reaction to a new prescription?
Side effects from medications are varied. If you are experiencing general discomfort such as nausea, a rash or a headache, contact your doctor’s office. If you are experiencing chest pain, hives, a rash all over your body, or severe shortness of breath, call 911.
How can I get medications if I am out of town or on vacation?
If you are planning a trip and your current supply of medications will run out while you are away, discuss your needs with a member of our pharmacy staff as early as possible.
In special circumstances with the appropriate documentation, early refills may be requested or prior arrangements can be made to ship your medications to you.
Can someone pick up my prescriptions for me?
You can ask a friend or family member to pick up your order. They will be required to sign for the medications and pay any balance due. They may be required to present a valid Driver’s License or other government-issued ID. Please alert the pharmacy staff ahead of time if someone new will be picking up your order to avoid confusion.
Why aren’t my co-pays always the same?
Co-pay amounts are set by your insurance carrier, and each carrier offers many plans. The simplest explanation would be tiering; medications are categorized in three tiers. Most insurance plans assign a different co-pay amount with each tier.
For example, with a popular plan from a local carrier, there is a $10 co-pay for Tier 1 drugs, $30 for Tier 2, and $50 for Tier 3; while a well-known Medicare D plan sets its co-pays at $0 for Tier 1, $3 for Tier 2, and $7 for Tier 3. Most insurance plans require that the pharmacy collect co-payment at the time of service. Call the pharmacy to make arrangements that work best for you.
Who should I alert when my insurance coverage changes?
To avoid delays in filling your prescription and out-of-pocket expense, please share any insurance changes with a pharmacy staff member or include the information along with your automated refill request.
What is a drug interaction?
A drug interaction is the reaction of one medication with another. Medications are compounds of chemical agents; the agents in one medication can interact with or react to those in another. While this is sometimes a good thing—such as Ritonavir boosting in HIV care—more often the interactions are adverse.
You should never take medications not prescribed by your healthcare provider. Additionally, you need to always be sure to update all your providers—including specialists, other pharmacies, and therapists—when there is a change in those medications prescribed for you.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
What to do when you miss a dose will be different depending on the drug and the directions for its use. Always call your pharmacist to find out what to do when you miss a dose.
What is resistance?
Drug resistance is the ability of an organism, such as a bacteria, virus, or cancer, to overcome the effects of a drug prescribed to destroy it. This is of particular concern with the HIV virus requiring a greater than 95 percent drug adherence rate to reduce the risk of resistance. Missing your medication doses will make the HIV virus resistant to treatment. Bacterial resistance can be very common if doses are missed. To get rid of the infection without needing additional prescriptions, please take ALL your doses as prescribed.
My medication needs to be refrigerated. How long can it be left out before it is no good?
While this depends on the medication, generally most prescription drugs can be left out of the refrigerator for up to 24 hours without affecting their potency. To be safe, first put the medicine back in the refrigerator, and then check with your pharmacist before taking any medication that has been left out.
Should I take a probiotic with my antibiotic?
A quick rule of thumb is to take your probiotic two hours before or two hours after taking your antibiotic. This will give sufficient time for the antibiotic to work while not killing off the beneficial bacteria. You should take probiotics twice a day on an empty stomach.
Can I get more than a 30-day supply of my prescription medication?
Possibly. Depending on your individual insurance plan and the specific medication, you may be able buy up to a 90-day supply at one time. If you are paying out-of-pocket, ask your doctor to prescribe a 90-day supply on the prescription. Call us at the pharmacy to check if you are eligible for a 90 day supply and potential cost savings.
What can I do if I lost my prescription insurance and the cost of the medication is too high?
Drug Mart offers hundreds of generic medications for $4 per month. If you are on an expensive medication, our pharmacists are experts at finding solutions to get you the medications you need. We will work with your doctor, manufacturer and potential financial assistance programs to help bridge the gap.
Is there a coupon to lower the cost of my insulin?
Yes. Many drug companies that make insulin have coupons or patient assistance programs to lower the cost of the insulin. We can work with your doctor to get you insulin at a price that you can afford.
Do you accept my insurance?
We accept most major insurance plans, including: Caremark, Express Scripts, United Healthcare, Optum Rx, Humana, Prime Therapeutics, Medicaid, Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Aged and Disabled [PAAD], AIDS Drug Distribution Program [Ryan White], all Medicare Part D plans, Workers’ compensation, Auto Accident claims, and more. To see a more comprehensive list, please see the insurance plans we accept. For specific questions, contact a pharmacy staff member at (800) 877-0337.
How are Medicare benefits changing for 2020?
- The standard Part B premium is increasing to $144.60 per month.
- The Part B deductible is increasing to $198 for 2020.
- Part A premiums, deductible, and coinsurance will also be higher in 2020.
- Medigap Plans C and F will no longer be available for purchase by newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
What is an insurance premium?
An insurance premium is the amount of money an individual pays for the insurance policy. For example, if a Medicare Part D premium is $35, that is how much the plan will cost the person on a monthly basis.
What is an insurance deductible?
A deductible is the amount you pay towards prescription costs before your health insurance company begins to pay.
How it works: If your plan’s deductible is $350, you’ll pay 100 percent of eligible prescription expenses until the bills total $350. After that, you share the cost with your plan by paying coinsurance.
The standard Part D deductible for 2020 is $435; it may change every year.
How will the Coverage Gap (donut hole) work in 2020?
Although the donut hole will still be around in 2020, it will be slightly more affordable. In 2020, brand-name and generic drugs will both be limited to a 25% coinsurance during the donut hole.
Another change that’s effective January 1st, 2020 is the spending limits that get you into and out of the donut hole. In 2020, once you and your plan have spent $4,020 for the year (including your deductible), you will move into the donut hole. After you and your plan reach $6,350 for the year (including the $4,020), you will move out of the donut hole and into catastrophic coverage.
When can I signup for Medicare Part D?
You may enroll during the 7-month period that starts 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65. If you are under 65 you are eligible to enroll in Medicare if you have a qualifying disability.
If you do not enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period for Part D, you can enroll into prescription drug coverage during the Annual Election Period (AEP), also called Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage, which occurs from October 15 to December 7 of every year.
Medicare Part D plans change every year. Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to consult their pharmacist during Open Enrollment to sign up for a Medicare Part D plan that will cover their current medications at the lowest cost.
Is Medicare Part D deducted from Social Security?
No. To be enrolled on Part D, you must enroll through one of the prescription drug companies that offers the Medicare Part D plan or directly through Medicare at www.medicare.gov. You can pay premiums directly to the company, setup a bank draft, or have the monthly premium deducted from your Social Security check.
Do I qualify for Social Security Extra Help or financial assistance?
Extra Help is a federal program that helps pay for some to most of out-of-pocket costs for Medicare prescription drug coverage. It is also known as the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS).
What is the income limit? To qualify for Extra Help, your annual income must be limited to $18,735 for an individual or $25,365 for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you may still be able to get help. Ask our pharmacy staff about details, we can help you sign up for financial assistance programs or direct you to valuable resources.
Do you keep my specialty medication in stock?
Drug Mart carries a complete line of pharmaceutical products and if you are on a particular specialty drug, we will make sure it is in stock when you need it. Our automated refill reminder program assures you that you will never miss a dose.
Should I get the flu shot?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine every season with rare exception. Different flu shots are approved for people of different ages. Pregnant women and people with certain chronic health conditions can get ta flu shot. Most people with an egg allergy can get a flu shot.
Children younger than 6 months of age are too young to get a flu shot. People with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine should not get the flu shot. This may include gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before getting a flu shot.