Aug 11, 2021

Can Someone Else Pick Up Your Prescriptions?

While we would ideally want to be available to pick up our own prescriptions from the pharmacy, sometimes certain circumstances get in the way. From being under the weather to having a physical limitation, being able to physically make it to pick up a prescription ourselves can at times feel difficult or even impossible. 

This brings up the common questions: can someone else pick up your prescription, or can you pick up a prescription on behalf of someone else? We put together this blog to help you navigate through different scenarios that may occur and processes you need to follow to make collecting a prescription on behalf of someone else as hassle-free as possible. 

Can I Get a Prescription Filled For Someone Else?

Let's say your loved one is feeling miserable. Would you be able to call their physician yourself, explain their symptoms to them and expect them to still prescribe medication for your loved one? The answer is no!

The doctor needs to see a patient and know their medical history before ordering any new medications to prevent the wrong prescription from being administered. It is illegal for a provider to prescribe medicines without examining the patient first. 

Obtaining a Refill Prescription for Someone Else

If your loved one needs a refill on an existing prescription, their doctor may opt to refill prescriptions over the phone with the patient without seeing the patient in person. However, this is up to each physician. 

When the doctor sends the prescription to the pharmacy, you may pick it up from there. 

Refilling Controlled Substances for Someone Else 

Not all prescriptions for a controlled substance are allowed to be refilled. Instead, they will need a doctor to send a brand new script to the pharmacy each time the patient runs out of medication. Therefore, you would not be able to pick up those drugs on behalf of someone else, unless the physician has seen the patient. 

Modern Day "Office Visits"

By now, a lot of us have heard of virtual appointments or Telehealth. Modern technology has made going to see your doctor as easy as turning on your laptop or other electronics. 

Virtual visits with your physician mean you don't have to be in their office to be seen physically. This is an invaluable advancement for when you are too sick to leave the house, facing another kind of physical restriction, or have another commitment to attend to. 

After an online checkup, your doctor can send an e-prescription to any pharmacy you prefer. You can then fill the prescription on behalf of someone else or have someone fill it on your behalf.

Emergency Care Visits

If you or the person you're trying to get prescriptions on behalf of is facing a life-threatening emergency, it's highly advised that you call 911 and seek emergency care. Any prescriptions needed can most likely be filled at the emergency center.  

However, if the person is too sick to fill a prescription themself, but is facing a life-threatening situation, a physician home visit or virtual visit can be a great option. 

Collecting a Prescription For Someone Else 

You are allowed to pick up a prescription for someone else. However, different pharmacies have different policies when it comes to filling a prescription.  

Depending on where you live, the procedure of collecting a prescription for someone else may differ. Below are two standard options to get a prescription for someone else.

Collecting an Online Prescription

The days of written scripts seem to be becoming a thing of the past. Many doctors now transfer prescriptions electronically. Patients can now choose to have e-prescriptions sent directly to their pharmacy electronically or still obtain them by hand from their doctor. 

Having a prescription sent in electronically can already be more convenient and save you time. On top of that, having someone else pick up a prescription on your behalf after it was sent electronically can even be more time-saving if circumstances prevent you from being able to collect it in person yourself from the pharmacy. However, if you send someone to pick up your prescription, note that they may still need to go through a screening and verification process.  

Collecting a Paper Prescription From a Physician 

As modern medical technology continues to digize various medical transactions, some physicians may still prefer to write out a script on paper. The patient will get the paper prescription once the doctor has seen them and determined what medications are needed. 

If it is difficult for the patient to get to the pharmacy to have it filled, they may have someone else do it. You should call the pharmacy ahead of time to let them know who will be picking up the prescription on your behalf.

Often, the pharmacist will check for proof of identity and other details, such as the address and date of birth of the patient you are picking up the prescription for. This helps prevent the wrong medication from being given out to the wrong person. Accepted forms of identity include: 

  • Driver's license

  • Passport

  • Military ID 

  • State-issued ID card 

Some states may require you to fill out a form if you are collecting prescriptions for someone else.

Many countries require forms to be filled out as well. The United Kingdom, for example, uses the FP10 form, which can only be used for prescriptions that have been issued to you and therefore, can be used when you're picking up a prescription for someone else. 


When you pick up a prescription for controlled medications on behalf of someone else, the laws and policies may vary for both collecting an online or paper script. Most pharmacies require proof of identity in addition to the patient confirming the person they authorize to pick up their controlled prescription. 

In Conclusion

 If you try to help a sick friend or loved one by picking up their prescriptions for them, be sure you know the pharmacy's pick-up policy beforehand. Making a false exemption with medications can possibly lead to prosecution for making a false claim.  At CareCard, our mission is to help make your prescription payments more affordable, saving members up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. Learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.

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