Answered by:
Stuart D. Federman, PharmD, AAHIVP
Gateway Apothecary
Saint Louis, MO

First, call your pharmacy to see if you are due for a refill. If you are due for a refill, the pharmacy can make arrangements to ship the medication to your location or they can help find a pharmacy in your vacation spot where the medications can be transferred over the phone and filled while you wait in the pharmacy.

If you are not due for a refill, most insurance companies have provisions set in place for lost or vacation supply where they can authorize to have your medications filled early. If you are out of refills, contact your doctor who can send in a prescription into your normal specialty pharmacy who should help figure out a way to get the medication to you.

You should never be afraid to ask for help from your pharmacy, they usually have some tricks of the trade to help get the medications to you. In the case that you are planning a long vacation, most pharmacies can provide a two- to three-month supply of your medications, if your insurance will allow. You should plan on working with the pharmacy plenty of time in advance because it may take some time to work through the insurance or Ryan White system to get the overrides in place to get a larger supply of medications.

Additional writing by Amanda Wong, student pharmacist at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.