On Vacation and Forgot to Renew a Prescription?

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You’re sitting on the dock enjoying the peace and quiet of a beautiful sunrise; nothing ahead of you but rest and relaxation. Then it dawns on you – there aren’t any refills left on your much-needed prescription and you’re running out of pills. The thought of getting back home to see your doctor right now seems daunting. Or, you may not be on vacation. What if it’s a weekend or a holiday and your doctor’s office is closed? What do you do?

The answer is simple: Go to the local pharmacist.  It’s never recommended to stop taking your prescribed medication, so when you’ve run out of refills for your regular medications, your pharmacist can help. They can assess your medication needs and may be able to provide an emergency refill or extend your prescription, if appropriate, and the existing prescription is eligible (this is the case in most provinces and territories –
to learn more click here). i

 Remembering to Renew: By the Numbers

One in four (24%) Canadians have missed or delayed getting a renewal for at least one of their prescriptions. This was often because they forgot to renew (43%) or they weren’t able to schedule an appointment with their doctor to get a renewal (42%) ii
Only 63% of Canadians had consulted a pharmacist in the past regarding a renewal or extension of prescriptions iii and even less, 34%, had consulted a pharmacist on emergency prescription refills
However, when asked what the likelihood of using emergency refills or renewal/extensions, if needed, 88% iv of Canadians said they would have taken advantage of the service had they known about it

 Renewal Rules

In most provinces, your pharmacist will assess your particular situation and will ensure that:

Your medication is for a chronic condition
You are stable on the medication and it is working the way it should for your condition
The medication is not a narcotic or controlled drug v

If your pharmacist decides to renew your prescription, he or she will inform the original prescriber about what action was taken and the rationale behind the decision. It’s also important to know that pharmacist-authorized renewals are not intended to replace regular visits with your primary care provider. If the circumstances allow, your pharmacist may opt to provide a renewal quantity that is sufficient to cover you until you can see your doctor or nurse practitioner. vi

If you’re stuck in need of a prescription renewal this summer, help is not far away.  Visit your nearest Shoppers Drug Mart and speak with a pharmacist.



i Canadian Pharmacists Association. Pharmacists’ Scope of Practice in Canada https://www.pharmacists.ca/pharmacy-in-canada/scope-of-practice-canada/

ii Sustainable Solutions Report http://cdn.agilitycms.com/shoppers-drug-mart-corporate/SDM%20Adherence%20SSR%202016%20-%20FINAL.pdf P. 9

iii The Role of Pharmacists in Canada. A national survey of Canadian adults for Shoppers Drug Mart. P. 17

iv The Role of Pharmacists in Canada. A national survey of Canadian adults for Shoppers Drug Mart. P. 31

v Ontario Pharmacists Association https://www.opatoday.com/how-your-pharmacist-helps-if/you-run-out-of-medication/