Emergency Prescription Fill from Private Pharmacy

Complaints, Issues, and Concerns about the Veterans Administration Hospitals.

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Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:00 pm
Location: WV

Emergency Prescription Fill from Private Pharmacy

Postby jimithy » Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:36 pm

Well, I am back again. This forum saved me over $6000 in my fight to get the VA to pay for a private hospital emergency room visit for a stroke in June 2008.

Maybe you can help with this.

I am visiting my grand kids in TX (I live in WV). We are far from any VA facility PLUS it is New Years Day.

I opened the door to the refrigerator this morning and both my insulin bottles rolled out and smashed on the floor (I always carry spares.)

It was quite hard to find a pharmacy both open... and willing to fill a prescription from the VA. Of course, it was expensive ( $107.99 ) for a single bottle.

Does the VA has some assistance for Vets who will quickly die without their prescription and are forced to use a private pharmacy?

I cannot find anything.

I would appreciate ANY replies even if it just a hint of where to check.

Thanks again,


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Postby gmg » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:22 am


Okey-dokey, here's what I was able to dig up.

First of all, I was finally able to locate a PDF copy of the VA Health Administration Center Handbook. I have just finished converting that to a text file, hope they don't give me a hard time about that.

Anyway, from the text file I was able to copy the following from page 19.

++++++++++++++++++++COPY STARTS++++++++++++++++++++

• Original prescriptions must be sent to the service center (copied or faxed prescriptions cannot be filled).

• Maintenance medications (those you take for a longer period of time such as blood pressure, heart, arthritis, and chronic pain medication) are available through Meds by Mail.

• Certain controlled medications are also available through this program. For example, Tylenol No. 3, Valium, Klonopin, and Vicodin are available. These are medications in Schedules 3, 4, and 5 for controlled drugs (your physician can tell you if the medication prescribed to you is on one of these schedules). Medications such as Percocet, Percodan, Ritalin, and Oxycontin are NOT available and must be filled at your local pharmacy.

• Most prescriptions are filled with the generic equivalent.

• When the prescription does not have a generic equivalent, and the brand name drug prescribed is not on the VA’s formulary, a pharmacist will contact your physician to obtain authorization to substitute the VA’s formulary brand for the one prescribed by the physician.

• Over-the-counter medications are not covered by CHAMPVA and cannot be obtained through Meds by Mail. The ONLY exception is for insulin and insulin-related supplies.

• You can still use your local pharmacy for urgent care medications or any that are not available through Meds by Mail.

• If your other health coverage is Medicare and you have Medicare Parts A and B, but did not enroll in Medicare Part D, you can use Meds by Mail.

• If you obtain other health insurance that includes a pharmacy benefit (to include Medicare Part D, Prescription Drug Coverage Plan), you will no longer be eligible to use Meds by Mail.

If you need help with general information about Meds by Mail, eligibility or
applications for Meds by Mail contact us at:

Phone: 1-800-733-8387

Email: hac.inq@va.gov

Website: www.va.gov/hac (select “For Beneficiaries, Meds by Mail”)

++++++++++++++++++++COPY ENDS++++++++++++++++++++

Like I wrote above, I have the full PDF and now in a text file, so if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

I am also thinking about posting the table of contents for this handbook someplace on our site. Plus I will find a stable location for anyone who wishes to download this PDF. But I wanted to get the information above posted right away, and I'll get the other projects done a little later.

Some of you may have noticed I've been AWOL, but I hope I'm back now so as to provide timely advice, when I can.

Freedom isn't free!

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