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How long does a pharmacy hold a prescription?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Life has a tendency to get in the way sometimes, and it’s not always possible to collect your prescription from the pharmacy on time. 

Whether it’s simply that you’ve forgotten, you’re too busy, or something else popped up – knowing how long your pharmacy will hold your prescription for can give you the peace of mind that you’re not going to go without your medication. 

How long will a pharmacy hold a prescription?

Though the amount of time a pharmacy will hold your prescription varies from pharmacy to pharmacy, most will typically keep your prescription ready for you for 10-14 days. 

However, it’s usually best to let your pharmacy know if you’re unable to collect your prescription on time, so they know to hold it off for you and that you’re not too unwell to collect it. 

The easiest way to do this is simply to message your pharmacy through the Healthera app, or if your pharmacy isn’t listed – calling them on the phone. 

What happens if I don't pick up my prescription?

If you’re unable to collect your prescription, you may be wondering if you can have someone collect it on your behalf, or if you can have it delivered to your home. 

The answer to both of these questions is often yes, but it depends on your pharmacy and they offer this. 

If you need someone to collect your prescription, simply inform your pharmacy beforehand so that they know you’re aware someone is getting it for you. 

Many of the pharmacies listed on the Healthera app offer prescription delivery as part of their service, so if you’re not currently nominated to a pharmacy or would simply like to find a new one, simply download our app and find one that works for you. 

Frequently asked questions about prescriptions

What is the prescription hold time at pharmacies?

Most pharmacies will hold onto your prescription for up to 14 days, but it’s best to inform them beforehand if you know you won’t be able to collect it on time. 

How long do pharmacies keep prescriptions?

It often varies from pharmacy to pharmacy, but typically a pharmacy will hold onto your medication for 10-14 days before cancelling and restocking your medicine for another patient. 

What happens if I don't pick up my prescription on time?

If you’re not able to collect your prescription within 10-14 days and have no one that can pick it up for you, make sure to inform your pharmacy so that they can restock the medicine for another patient. 

A photo of a white and green prescription bag containing a "prescription only" medication.

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