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How to Safely Refill and Pick Up Prescriptions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the “Safer at Home” order continues in California, many people are worried about how they can safely and quickly access their medications and get prescription refills during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are answers to some of our patient’s most common questions:

How can I get extra medication or early refills?

The answer to this question depends on the medication type, your prescription insurance plan and state laws. To determine how much of a medication you can get at one time, try these steps:

  1. Call your prescription insurance plan for information about 90 day supply requests, early fills and mail order options.
  2. If your plan authorizes a 90 day supply, contact the pharmacy that fills your prescription to let them know and request this extra medication.
  3. If you need to, you can call your doctor’s office to approve refills or transfer your prescription to a mail order pharmacy.

I have Medicare Part D for prescriptions. Are there any special exceptions during COVID-19?

Yes. Some Medicare Part D plans allow “refill too soon” overrides under certain circumstances. For more information, please call your part D plan provider directly.

What if I do not want to leave my house to go to my pharmacy or do not feel well enough to go into a pharmacy?

If you don’t want to leave your house to go to your pharmacy or don’t feel well enough to go in, there are several things you can do.

  1. Ask if your pharmacy delivers. Many of them do. You should also ask about how they are accepting payment, as many pharmacies are not accepting credit cards or cash in-person to avoid close contact.
  2. If they do not offer delivery, many pharmacies offer curbside pickup. This means that they will bring your prescription to you in the parking lot and you never have to get out of your car. Call ahead and see if this is an option. 
  3. Arrange for a friend or family member to pick up your prescription. Call your pharmacy ahead of time to let them know your plan.
  4. Consider using your insurance plan’s mail order pharmacy, which can deliver medications to you home as a three month supply. Call your insurance plan for more information.
  5. If you use a UCLA pharmacy, you can choose to receive medications via mail delivery. All UCLA pharmacies are currently waiving delivery fees for eligible prescriptions. Talk to your pharmacist to see if this is an option.

Are UCLA retail pharmacies in Westwood and Santa Monica currently open?

Yes. All UCLA retail pharmacies in both locations are currently open. You can find the list of locations here: uclahealth.org/pharmacies. If you have any questions, please call 310-206-3784.

I am a UCLA Health patient and see a provider near my home. How can I get more information about my medications and refills?

You can always call your physician’s office, your primary care office, or 310-825-2631 to ask a question or schedule a video visit. If you would like to reach the Department of Pharmacy Services for Ambulatory and Community Practices, call 323-223-7847.


If you would like more information about the UCLA Health response to COVID-19, visit our dedicated website at uclahealth.org/coronavirus or call our 24/7 COVID-19 hotline at 310-267-3300.


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