Health & Safety

February 22, 2013

Pharmacy provides interim prescription refills

Penny Cervantes, 99th Medical Group pharmacy technician, fills a prescription with an automated dispenser Feb. 19 at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The main pharmacy is refilling certain prescriptions that have run out before the patients’ next appointment.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The main pharmacy is now providing interim refill prescriptions for those who have run out of prescriptions before their next appointment. This is for chronic or maintenance use medication that meets specific criteria.

This type of program, started in January, is following a trend found at other military hospitals.

“A lot of other facilities do have a refill program to make sure there is no stoppage in [patient] care,” said Capt. Sang Ngo, chief of the outpatient pharmacy.

This service helps free up additional medical appointments and gives care to patients quicker. Instead of filling prescriptions for a week at a time, the new service fills the prescription for 30 days so patients don’t have to continuously come back.

“We had a lot of patients who required basically a gap refill. Their appointment is in a month, but they are out of their prescription. So instead of seeing the provider to give them a prescription, they can come down to the pharmacy, [and] we can provide them enough [to last] up to a month or up to their appointment,” Ngo said.

The criteria patients need to receive an interim refill are:

  • The prescription must have originated from a 99th Medical Group provider
  • Must have a scheduled appointment with a 99th MDG provider within 30 days
  • Chronic/maintenance medications only, which is defined as medication you have been taking for at least six continuous months/long term therapy, such as blood pressure or cholesterol medicine
  • A sufficient quantity will be provided until your appointment up to a 30-day supply
  • No controlled substances or over-the-counter medications will be refilled such as ibuprofen or cold medicine
  • All requests will be approved based on the pharmacist’s professional judgment

The best way to prevent running out of your prescription is to monitor your supply and schedule your annual appointment around your refill. Don’t wait until it is almost out.

However, if you need a refill, go to the pharmacy to get the care you need.

“We have a lot of patients in that situation. We don’t want to turn them away; we want to take care of them the best we can.”

The refills are available Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the walk-in medication management clinic located in the pharmacy waiting area.

For more information, call 702-653-3201.

 




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