Yale Health

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I refill my prescriptions?

You may call for refills via our automated telephone line at 203-432-0033 or use our online prescription refill request and proceed directly to the check-out window when your prescription has been filled. 

You may also request a refill at the check-in window of the Yale Health Pharmacy.  Please allow 24- 48 hours for routine refills.

Do I have refills left on my prescription?

The last line on your most recent prescription label tells you how many refills remain on your prescription to be filled by a certain date. A prescription is generally good for one year from the date it is written. Prescriptions for most controlled substances, such as narcotics, are good for up to six months from the date written.

What’s the difference between a prescription “refill” and a prescription “renewal”?

When a clinician writes a prescription for you, he/she indicates a certain number of “refills” of the medication depending on the type/class of drug.  This means you can simply request that the medication be refilled through the Pharmacy, either by calling 203-432-0033, or by completing our online prescription refill request.  A prescription must be “renewed” when all of the refills have been picked up/used.  This means that your clinician must review the prescription again and “renew” it before the pharmacy can complete the medication order. 

In either case, Pharmacy staff can assist in getting your medication request addressed. Calling the Pharmacy (203-432-0033) or using the online prescription refill request will allow our Pharmacy staff to begin the refill or the renewal process.

How long will it take to get a prescription refilled at the Yale Health Pharmacy?

Please allow as much time as possible when requesting your refills. Generally, allow at least one full business day for processing, and longer prior to weekends and holidays. The time period just prior to Thanksgiving recess, December recess, spring break and the end of the semester are peak processing times in the pharmacy. You will need to allow at least two full business days to process requests at this time.

If you have not been seen in the department for routine exams within the last year, the clinician will typically request that you make an appointment before refilling your prescription. In this case, the clinician will give you enough medication to last until the date of your examination/appointment.


Can I refill my prescriptions using MyChart?

The best way to refill your Yale Health prescriptions is to either call 203-432-0033, or complete our online prescription refill request.  Utilizing one of these methods feeds your medication information directly into the Pharmacy database and immediately begins the refilling process. 

How do I renew prescriptions that no longer have any refills?

The best way to renew prescriptions at Yale Health is to either call 203-432-0033, or complete our online prescription refill request.  This way Pharmacy staff can work with your clinician to get the prescription renewed as quickly as possible.  If you have a MyChart account, you might choose to use MyChart’s Request Rx Renewal feature instead to request a renewal.  If you use this functionality through MyChart, you must also call the pharmacy at 203-432-0033 in 24 to 48 hours to ensure your prescription has been approved and processed.

Can I have a prescription written by an outside clinician filled by the Yale Health Pharmacy?

Yes.  If you have a prescription written by an outside clinician, you can either bring it in, have the clinician call 203-432-0033, or have the clinician fax the prescription to the pharmacy directly at 203-436-4251 (by law, faxed prescriptions can only be filled when faxed from a clinician's office directly).

You should call the pharmacy to confirm we received the fax from your clinician.  It's helpful if your clinician puts your date of birth on the prescription.

Please have your outside clinician refer to the Yale Health Drug List to ensure that your drug will be covered.

Can I speak with a pharmacist about my questions?

Our pharmacists offer confidential counseling to patients in person or by telephone at 203-432-0033.

Can I use my outside insurance company’s prescription card at the Yale Health Pharmacy?

No. Drug cards for other insurance companies are not accepted at the Yale Health Pharmacy.

Where can I get my prescriptions filled when I am out of the area? (Will I get reimbursed?)

You can use any pharmacy. You will pay full price and then submit a Pharmacy Claim Form, which will be reviewed for reimbursement.  Please note, your reimbursement is dependent upon the benefit (for more information visit Understand Your Coverage) and formulary rules. For more information visit the Outside Pharmacy Use page.

(If you are a student you need to have Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Care coverage in order to be reimbursed.)

How will my eligible claim from an outside pharmacy be reimbursed?

You are responsible for the greater of 20% of the cost or the co-pay. 

Cost of drug purchased at outside pharmacy: $120
Co-pay (found on the Yale Health Drug List link): $5
20% of your cost of $120: $24
You are responsible for $24 (when purchased at an outside pharmacy).  If you had the prescription filled at the Yale Health Pharmacy you would only need to pay $5.

For more information visit the Outside Pharmacy Use page.


Why might my prescription claim be denied?

When you use an outside pharmacy (not the Yale Health Pharmacy at 55 Lock Street) you will be treated as a cash customer and they will not check to see if your prescription is covered under your insurance plan.  This means that when you submit your claim it could be denied because:

  • The drug is not covered under the benefit (check the Drug List)
  • The drug required prior authorization (labeled "Prior authorization" on  the Drug List)
  • The Yale Health co-pay is greater than the amount you paid for the drug (your cost for the drug is $28, but it is a Tier 3 drug, so the co-pay is $35)
  • It is too early to fill the prescription
  • There is no “days supply” listed on the receipt (see instructions on claim form)

Your pharmacy benefit is subject to the rules and limitations of the formulary (Member Coverage Booklet or Student Handbook) even when you use an outside (out-of-network) pharmacy.

What is prior authorization for prescriptions?

Some medications require approval beyond the clinician's prescription before they can be dispensed, or in other words, require prior authorization.  These medications include many Tier 3 drugs, specialty medications and drugs that have step therapy requirements. This process ensures appropriate use of certain drugs which are approved for very specific conditions.

When prescribing any of these drugs, the clinician will be asked to submit a prior authorization form to the pharmacy, documenting the clinical need for the medication as well as other clinical criteria related to the use of the medication. This form will then be reviewed by a clinical team. The team will work with your clinician to review the request and develop the optimal therapy for you.

If the request is approved, a member of this clinical team will notify you of the approval. If the request is not approved, both you and the prescribing clinician will be notified. Denials can be appealed through the Yale Health appeal process.

What is step therapy?

Step therapy is the recommendation of certain medications for use after a patient has attempted treatment with a preferred product, according to standards of care or institutional guidelines.

How do I know if my drug is covered and what tier it is in?

Review the Yale Health Drug List on our web site.  The Drug List:

  • Provides access to quality medications
  • Promotes appropriate and cost-effective therapy
  • Provides clinicians with information relating to alternative therapies
  • Gives members information to help them discuss medications with their clinician

What if I lose my medication?

Your medication may be replaced,  but  it is not a covered benefit so you will need to pay full price.  It may also need to be reapproved by your clinician; e.g. controlled substances.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call the Yale Health Pharmacy at 203-432-0033 to discuss with a pharmacist.

Do I have to take my medications at the times indicated even if it means getting up in the middle of the night?

You should try to take your medication as close to the scheduled times as possible. For example, if you have a medication that should be taken every eight hours, take one in the morning when you get up, take one in the early to mid-afternoon and one before bed.  This will allow enough time between doses so that you won't have to get up during the night. If you have any questions, ask the pharmacist.

Why do I have to stay out of the sun when taking certain medications?

Some medications such as tetracycline and hydrochlorothiazide react to sunlight, especially ultraviolet rays, making you more susceptible to sunburn.  It is important that you stay out of direct sunlight when you are taking medications that cause this photosensitivity and that you wear sun block outdoors.

Do I always have to finish my medication?

You should take all medications exactly as prescribed.  If the medication is an antibiotic, it is essential that you finish it even if you start to feel better after only a couple of days.  You may feel better, however, if you do not finish the medication, some bacteria can survive and develop resistance to the medication, meaning that the next time you are infected by this organism, the medication may not clear the infection.  Other medications can sometimes be stopped before they are finished, but you should consult your clinician.

Why did the instructions say I shouldn't take my medication with dairy products or fruit juices?

Certain drugs (such as tetracycline and ciprofloxacin) bind with nutrients found in dairy products to form inactive substances. With fruit juice, the acidity of the juice may begin to break down the tablet before it has reached the site where it is meant to be absorbed. This will cause diminished effectiveness.

Grapefruit juice in particular has been found to alter the effectiveness of some medications such atorvastatin, nifedipine, and alprazolam because it inhibits the metabolism of certain chemicals. Ask your pharmacist about potential food and beverage interactions.

Do I have to discard my medication if it is past the expiration date?

When medications reach their expiration date, the chemical begins to degrade, meaning that that the drug will not be as effective. Some medications can become dangerous after the expiration date. You should consult with your pharmacist about any medication that has expired, but it is always safest to discard expired medications.

How should I properly dispose of my medications?

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection has provided the following advice for the disposal of medications.  The Yale Health Pharmacy cannot dispose of your medications.

How can I get a copy of my medication list?

You can review your medication list in MyChart. If you have questions about the list of medications please consult your clinician.

For tax reporting purposes you can fill out a Release of Health Information Form and return it to the Health Information Management Department.

Am I covered for prescriptions as an enrolled student?

Students enrolled in Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Care coverage are covered.  Please call Member Services at 203-432-0246 or review the Yale Health Student Handbook to check on your individual coverage and benefits. 

Students with Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Coverage can receive free generic oral contraceptives at the Yale Health Pharmacy.

I am a student. How do I obtain prescription refills when I am away from campus?

To transfer your prescription to another pharmacy, have them call the Yale Health Pharmacy (203-432-0033). If you have Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Care coverage, retain the receipt and submit a claim form for reimbursement. For more information visit the Outside Pharmacy Use page.

When a prescription is transferred to an outside pharmacy, Connecticut pharmacy law renders that prescription void at Yale Health.

I am a new student on campus and I need my birth control pills. What should I do?

The easiest way to get your birth control pills is to have your prior clinician call the Yale Health Center Pharmacy directly at 203-432-0033 with your prescription details. Your prior clinician may also fax it directly to 203-436-4251.

The Ob/Gyn Department has reserved special appointments with our clinicians and nurses to assist you with obtaining your birth control prescriptions at Yale Health. These appointments are available Monday-Friday early in the semester for your convenience.

It is best if you can bring your current container or package that indicates your name, medication, date refilled, etc. to the appointment. This will assist in easy processing of your prescriptions. If you are unable to bring your birth control package or information, please make an appointment and try to bring as much information about your medical history as possible to that appointment.

I am a student and get my birth control prescriptions from an outside gynecologist. I ran out and need one month until I see my doctor. Can you help me?

Have your clinician call the Yale Health Pharmacy directly at 203-432-0033 or fax the prescription to 203-436-4251 to give you enough pills until your next visit.

If this is not possible, please call the Ob/Gyn Department at 203-432-0222 or visit MyChart and request a Quick Pill Refill Visit. Please bring the pill container or packet with you to the visit. We will do our best to accommodate you, however, please plan ahead.

Can other drugs that I am taking interfere with my birth control pills?

A small number of antibiotics and some other drugs may decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Should you have any questions about the drugs you are taking, please discuss them with your clinician or pharmacist. If they feel there may be a decrease in effectiveness, use some other form of back up protection while on the antibiotic and for an additional seven days.

When do I start taking my birth control pills?

You may start taking your birth control pills one of two ways:

  • start on the first day of your menstrual bleeding or
  • start on the first Sunday after your menstrual bleeding begins.

What do I do if I forget to take a birth control pill?

If you forget to take a pill, take it as soon as you remember. If you don’t remember until you take the next pill, then take both.

If you miss two or more birth control pills, it is best to call the Ob/Gyn Department at 203-432-0222 and ask to speak with a nurse as we can assist you in getting back on track without having to discontinue the cycle.  Note that you will need to use condoms for the rest of the cycle because ovulation is possible.

Being late with birth control pills may lead to break-through bleeding, bleeding prior to week four, or "placebo" week.  Break through bleeding does not indicate a lack of protection.

Who should I speak to if I have questions about my medications such as side effects, dosage, etc.?

If you have questions about your medication, please call the pharmacy at 203-432-0033 to speak to a pharmacist.

How can I get emergency contraception (morning-after) pill?

Emergency contraception, also known as "Plan B", "One Step", "Next Choice", or "My Way", all commonly referred to as "the morning after pill" is available over the counter at the Yale Health Pharmacy as well as most local pharmacies. Emergency contraception might be effective up to 120 hours after unprotected intercourse, but is most effective when taken as soon as possible.

After hours, call Acute Care at 203-432-0123.

If you have questions about emergency contraception, you may call Ob/Gyn (203-432-0222) or Student Health (203-432-0312) if you are a Yale student and ask to speak with one of the nurses. All information is confidential.

If you are concerned about an experience that might have led to pregnancy, you might be concerned about sexually transmitted infections.  Click here to learn more about STI testing.