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How to Avoid Prescription Refill Mistakes

Best steps to use when refilling your VA prescription

Millions of Veterans manage their VA prescription refills with My HealtheVet. Keeping a steady supply of medications is especially important today. In most cases, you can avoid visiting a VA Medical Center if you understand how you can use My HealtheVet. Here are the main points to remember:

Renewal or refill?

The number of refills you have for each VA prescription can be found in the Refill Remaining column of your medications table. If your prescription is not available for a refill at this time, you will see an "i" Information icon image in that column. If you have questions about this prescription, please contact your local VA pharmacy.

If you have no refills left but are still expected to continue taking the medication, then you should contact your health care team to request a medication 'renewal.' This also applies to prescriptions that are expired or discontinued. You can ask for a prescription renewal by phone, at your next VA health care appointment, or with Secure Messaging (sign in required).

Screenshot of a Secure Message being composed

What is the fill date?

When you visit the Refill VA Prescriptions section under Pharmacy, you will find a table of your prescription medications. This table's column titles can leave you wondering, "what's that?" The most common section Veterans ask about is the Fill Date. My HealtheVet automatically updates this date once a refill request has been submitted. It refers to the date after which the VA Pharmacy processes the refill request. This means your prescriptions will not be filled until the Fill Date. Your refill requests should be made at least ten days before running out of your prescription.

Screenshot of a VA Medication Chart on My HealtheVet

How far back can I track?

Screenshot of the Track Delivery buttonOnce you submit a VA prescription refill online, tracking information is available a day or two after the VA Mail Order Pharmacy refills it. Refills shipped from a local VA medical center cannot be tracked at this time. After your refill has been mailed, a blue "Track Delivery" button will appear in the VA Prescription Tracking column. Click this button to view your delivery status. Your shipment information will be available for 30 days. Generally, you can expect to receive your prescriptions 3 to 5 days after they are shipped.

You can also receive email notifications of when your prescription refills are shipped. Go to the Personal Information section in the navigation bar and select My Profile. There you can opt-in to receive Rx Refill Shipment Notifications.

Screenshot of turning Rx Refill Shipment Notifications on

Are these all my prescriptions?

Most of your prescriptions are available in the Refill VA Prescriptions section of Pharmacy. Yet, it's possible that not all your medications are listed.

If you have refillable prescriptions that are not shown, contact the pharmacy staff at the VA facility that prescribed your medication. You can find the phone number on the label of your prescription bottle.

As last resort, you may visit your VA pharmacy in person to request a refill. You may be subject to screening prior to entering the facility. You might also have a very long wait to have your prescription refilled. Visiting in person can unnecessarily put you and other at risk of infection. 

Upgrade to Premium

If you are a VA patient and want to refill your VA prescriptions online, you need either an Advanced or Premium MyHealtheVet account. You can upgrade your account without visiting a VA Medical Center.

Read More

Avoid Medical Records Mistakes

Managing Your Prescription Refills Online

Get to Know Rx Refill Options

Rx Refill Guide (PDF)

Updated August 11, 2020