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Home » Prescription and Medication » Can Prescriptions Be Emailed? Here Are Your Options
Lots of patients tend to have the question of, can prescriptions be emailed? This question can be answered in different ways, depending on the context of your question.
We’re going to outline the three main ways this question can be answered. Here is the short answer, then we will get into more details.
Can Prescriptions Be Emailed? This can be answered in three ways:
With these quick answers in mind, let’s cover them in more detail, as there are certain standards around getting a prescription emailed.
This question refers to a direct connection between a patient and a doctor. So, if you’re referring to a situation where you’re unable to visit the doctor and can get a prescription from the doctor through an email, the answer is a solid no.
In the first place, a doctor can issue a prescription in only two ways.
First is the most common and traditional method where a doctor should issue a handwritten prescription on a printed form. This will include details of the doctor, address, license number, and so on.
This method of issuing a prescription is required by law for certain medications, such as federally restricted drugs.
The second method is by phone, often called calling in a prescription. This is where the doctor calls your pharmacy and gives the prescription information to the pharmacy directly, which you can then get filled.
These days, if the pharmacy has the facility, faxing prescriptions and electronically sending them through appropriate software known as E-prescription is also possible.
This again is sending the prescription from the doctor’s office to your registered pharmacy and not sending it to you (the patient).
So this, therefore, means there’s no way of you getting a prescription from the doctor directly through your email.
There are two main legal reasons why a doctor cannot directly email you a prescription, which are as follows:
Since the 2020 pandemic, it’s now possible for practices to scan and email a prescription to a pharmacy, from where the medication will be delivered to the patient’s door. This helps to minimize the risk of virus transmission under social-distancing measures.
Apart from this, in some states, a practice can scan and email a barcoded or non-barcoded prescription to a pharmacy. But to do this, the prescription must be physically signed and authorized by the prescriber.
Also, such prescriptions that are emailed should meet all secure messaging criteria.
However, the same rules for faxed prescriptions apply here. These are as follows:
The original prescription is not required if the emailed prescription…
The original prescription is required…
Again here, emailing a prescription with the above rules is only possible from a practice to a pharmacy and if it’s legal to do so in your region. You, as a patient, can’t get the prescription emailed to you.
In some cases, some pharmacies may allow the scanning and emailing of a prescription by the patient. This is accepted or allowed in cases where you have no easy access to a fax machine.
However, there are again specific rules for this, depending on the pharmacy that allows this service. Such rules include:
On the other hand, if you’re able to send it via picture message, keep the prescription in good lighting under a flat surface and include the entire prescription.
The picture should again be sent following the image format and size accompanied with other requested information.
It should also be mentioned that pharmacies who offer these two services may charge you or may apply standard fees for such services.
If you want to get a prescription emailed to you, perhaps because you don’t want to visit and consult a doctor in person, you can get an online consultation. Telehealth has become more popular over the years and consists of a doctor evaluating your condition over the phone or video chat.
A consultation is necessary, as a doctor cannot prescribe medication without first evaluating the patient.
Following the consultation and if a prescription is needed, your doctor can send an e-prescription to your preferred pharmacy where you can pick up your medications.
If you want to avoid the hassle of going to the pharmacy to fill the prescription, you can also allow someone else to pick it up or fill the prescription for you.
Alternatively, you can also use the mail-order prescription service.
Using this service, you will get your prescriptions filled right to your mailbox. But again, this is only possible if your insurance plan and registered pharmacy have the capacity and eligibility to do so.
A mail-order prescription works through your insurance company and its pharmacy benefit manager.
We hope this has provided you with some useful information and answers the question, can prescriptions be emailed?
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