Can I Get a Prescription for Someone Else? Here’s What To Do

Posted September 2, 2020 by Michael Chamberlain - See Editorial Guidelines

Sometimes getting a prescription can be a bigger ordeal then you might think. It’s yet another task in a chain of tasks needed to get much needed medical care.

This brings up the question of can I get a prescription for someone else? So, in this article, we’ll go through the situations that might occur, the processes you need to follow, and more so that you can be well informed in advance.

But first, let’s give you a brief, definitive answer, then we’ll go through some typical scenarios when getting a prescription for someone else.

Can I get a prescription for someone else? You cannot get a prescription from the doctor for someone else by describing their symptoms unless it’s to refill a prescription. But you can collect or fill a prescription prescribed to another patient – provided you fill out necessary forms and provide identity verification.

Now let’s get a few basics in place and then discuss some potential exceptions.

Basics of Prescription Filling

Can I Get a Prescription for Someone Else

If you’re talking about getting a prescription from a doctor by describing someone else’s symptoms and getting a prescription on their behalf, then it’s a blanket no.

This is because the doctor must see the patient or be fully aware of their condition to verify their need for meds. It is illegal to prescribe medications without the doctor observing the patient. 

The Exceptions for Obtaining a Prescription for Someone Else

There are some minor variations to the above rule, however.

If you need to refill a prescription, then at the doctors’ discretion, they may opt to refill prescriptions over the phone with the patient, but without seeing the patient in person.

Following this phone consultation, you can then go through the process of obtaining a prescription on behalf of that patient.

This is possible only when a doctor is already aware of the patients’ medical conditions and other medical records for which the doctor can be certain.

This is not possible for controlled substances. But if you want to get a prescription for someone who is going through a sickness that has not been previously consulted or observed, then you won’t be able to get a prescription for that patient.

Emergency Care

If you or the person you’re trying to get prescriptions for is too sick to get out of the bed, then the doctor may recommend attending emergency care but still will not let you get a prescription for them.

Alongside this, if a person is too sick to get out of the bed or to make a trip to the doctor’s office, you can request a doctor’s home visit and check-up, for which the doctor can prescribe medications.

Using Technology

Modern technology is so developed and fast now that a patient doesn’t have to physically make a trip to the doctor’s office to get a new prescription.

You, or anybody, can easily arrange a virtual appointment for an online checkup.

After an online checkup, your doctor can send an e-prescription to a convenient pharmacy. You can then fill the prescription on behalf of someone else.

Can I Fill a Prescription for Someone Else?

Can I Get a Prescription for Someone Else

Yes, you can collect a prescription for someone else. However, there are several policies that different pharmacies are required to use to enable a legal and legitimate prescription filling.

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

Collecting an Online Prescription for Someone Else 

As we mentioned earlier, it’s much easier to get a consultation through various online platforms if you’re too sick to visit the doctor.

Similarly, doctors can now transfer your prescription electronically to a pharmacy or dispenser you prefer, from where you can get someone else to collect them. This means there’s less need for paper copies of prescriptions.

If you do plan on collecting a prescription for someone else, then the person whose prescription has been electronically sent will need to inform the pharmacy that you’re filling the prescription on behalf of them. 

But there are some screening and verification processes you’ll need to pass if you’re filling the prescription for someone else, which we’ll go through later.

Collecting a Paper Prescription From a Doctor for Someone Else

A paper prescription will be given to the patient after the doctor has observed the patient’s condition and determined what medications are needed. The patient can then give the paper prescription to someone else to have it filled if they are unable to go to the pharmacy.

It is recommended that the patient call the pharmacy and let them know who will be picking up the prescription on their behalf. The pharmacist will often ask for proof of identity, as well as other details, such as the address and date of birth of the patient you are picking up the prescription for.

This verification is in place to prevent the wrong prescription from being given out to the wrong people. 

In many countries and states, when you’re collecting a paper prescription on behalf of someone else, you might need to fill out a form.

These are pretty standard forms. For example, the patient for whom you’re filling the prescription has to fill in part 1 of the prescription request form, and you (who is collecting on behalf) should complete parts 2 and 3.

When you hand over the prescription to collect on behalf of someone, the pharmacist will check the form to make sure it’s signed and filed properly and verify you’re acting on behalf of the patient.

If you’re a person who has a prescription form (FP10), you can only use it for prescriptions that have been issued to you and not when you’re collecting a prescription for someone else. Here’s a layout of the FP10 prescription form.

If a false exemption is made, the person you’re collecting the prescription on behalf of could be prosecuted for making a false claim. 

Note – If you’re collecting a prescription for controlled medications, these rules and policies may vary for both collecting online and paper prescriptions on behalf of someone else.

Very often, in such cases, proof of identity has to be issued. Alongside this, the pharmacy may also confirm from the patient if you’re collecting the prescription on behalf of them. 


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