The following are answers to commonly asked questions.

If you have additional questions, Please call the pharmacy at 315.759.5946. Or ask a question via our secure site at < Ask a question >

 


How do I transfer my prescriptions from another pharmacy to The Pharmacy at Finger Lakes Community Health?
During your first visit to the pharmacy, we will get the required information to request a transfer of existing, transferable prescriptions from your current pharmacy or medical provider. In addition, we will need to see your insurance cards and gather some basic information.

How do I order refills?

Refills can be ordered in person, by phone, or through our website.

  • Call 315.759.5946, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can speak directly to someone during business hours. Off-hours, you can leave a voice message or use our automated ordering system.
  • Our refill system allows you to create a secure online account where you can place prescription refill orders.  Set up an account here:

How early should I order refills? 
While we strive to refill orders the same day, we recommend that you order refills when you have a 5-7 day supply of medication left so that there will be no interruption in your medication regimen. This allows our staff to process refill authorization requests and address other possible issues with insurance and/or medication supply.

How long does it take to have medication delivered?
For local delivery of refills on an existing prescription, you can generally expect to receive your delivery within four business days when all the medications you are requesting have refills remaining. Prescriptions that need additional authorization from your provider or insurance company may take longer to process.

What does “take with food” or “take on an empty stomach” really mean?
When dosing instructions indicate to “take with food,” it is generally recommended that you take the medication with a meal to avoid stomach or intestinal irritation. Other times, it is recommended that a medication be taken with a certain type of food, such as milk or cheese, to increase the amount of medicine absorbed by your body. When instructed to “take on an empty stomach,” medication should be taken either 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.

Why do I need a new prescription from my provider each time I refill some of my prescriptions and not others?
New York State prescribing regulations require a standardized prescription for some drugs categorized as controlled substances each time they are filled.

What is the difference between the Medicare A/B plan billed by my doctor or hospital and a Medicare D plan?
The easiest way to explain this is that Medicare A covers inpatient and hospital associated costs; Medicare B is for outpatient medical care such as your physician’s office. A Medicare D plan is a prescription drug program offered by a third-party insurer in accordance with Medicare regulations. For more information, visit www.medicare.gov.

What is the difference between a brand name and a generic drug? Is one better than the other?
When a medication is first developed, the manufacturer has patent rights on the formula and/or compound. Once this patent right expires, other companies can produce generic versions of the drug that meet the same FDA requirements and regulations as the brand name drug. Most insurance companies require generic substitutions unless specifically requested by the prescriber or patient.

Why does the doctor call my medication by one name and the pharmacy label it with another?
Medications are generally identified by one of two names or an abbreviation. The brand name or trade name that is assigned by the manufacturer when it is introduced is the most common used by medical staff. The generic or chemical name is what will normally be printed on the label from your pharmacy since this is what they are actually dispensing. Many medications also have a commonly known abbreviation.
For example, a common medication used to treat high blood pressure is hydrochlorothiazide (generic name), which is commonly referred to as HCTZ (accepted abbreviation); the medication is manufactured by Merck & Co. as HydroDIURIL (brand name). We understand this can become confusing.  Please do not hesitate to ask our pharmacy staff for clarification.

What should I do with the leftover pills when my provider changes my medication regimen?
Once dispensed, medications cannot be resold or returned. Medications should not be flushed down the toilet or put in the garbage disposal. Call the pharmacy or visit this website for information on how to dispose of them properly to avoid harm to others.

What should I do if my new pills don’t look like the ones I had before or the samples I got from my doctor’s office?
Medications from different manufacturers, while similar, may not always look exactly alike. If there is any question whether or not you received the correct drug or dosage, always contact your pharmacy or provider’s office before taking the dose.

Who do I call if I think I’m having a reaction to a new prescription?
Side effects from medications are varied. If you are experiencing general discomfort such as nausea, a rash or a headache, contact your doctor’s office. If you are experiencing chest pain, hives, a rash all over your body, or severe shortness of breath, call 911.

How can I get medications if I am out of town or on vacation?
If you are planning a trip and your current supply of medications will run out while you are away, discuss your needs with a member of the pharmacy staff as early as possible.
In special circumstances with the appropriate documentation, early refills may be requested through your payer, or prior arrangements can be made to ship your medications to you.

Can someone pick up my prescriptions for me?
You can ask a friend or family member to pick up your order. They will be required to sign for the medications and pay any balance due. They may be required to present a valid NYS Driver’s License or other government-issued ID. Please alert the pharmacy staff ahead of time if someone new will be picking up your order to avoid confusion.

Why aren’t my co-pays always the same?
Co-pay amounts are set by your insurance carrier, and each carrier offers many plans. The simplest explanation would be tiering; medications are categorized in three tiers. Most insurance plans assign a different co-pay amount with each tier.
For example, with a popular plan from a local carrier, there is a $10 co-pay for Tier 1 drugs, $30 for Tier 2, and $50 for Tier 3; while a well-known Medicare D plan sets its co-pays at $0 for Tier 1, $3 for Tier 2, and $7 for Tier 3. Most insurance plans require that the pharmacy collect co-payment at the time of service. Call the pharmacy to make arrangements that work best for you.

Who should I alert when my insurance coverage changes?
To avoid delays in filling your prescription and out-of-pocket expense, please share any insurance changes with a pharmacy staff member or include the information along with your automated refill request.

What is a drug interaction?
A drug interaction is the reaction of one medication with another. Medications are compounds of chemical agents; the agents in one medication can interact with or react to those in another. While this is sometimes a good thing—such as Ritonavir boosting in HIV care—more often the interactions are adverse.
You should never take medications not prescribed by your healthcare provider. Additionally, you need to always be sure to update all your providers—including specialists, other pharmacies, and therapists—when there is a change in those medications prescribed for you.

What should I do if I miss a dose?
What to do when you miss a dose will be different depending on the drug and the directions for its use.  Always call your pharmacist to find out what to do when you miss a dose.

What is resistance? 
Drug resistance is the ability of an organism, such as a bacteria, virus, or cancer, to overcome the effects of a drug prescribed to destroy it. This is of particular concern with the HIV virus requiring a greater than 95 percent drug adherence rate to reduce the risk of resistance. Missing your medication doses will make the HIV virus resistant to treatment. Bacterial resistance can be very common if doses are missed. To get rid of the infection without needing additional prescriptions, please take ALL your doses as prescribed.

My medication needs to be refrigerated. How long can it be left out before it is no good?
While this depends on the medication, generally most prescription drugs can be left out of the refrigerator for up to 24 hours without affecting their potency. To be safe, first put the medicine back in the refrigerator, and then check with your pharmacist before taking any medication that has been left out.

As a part of Finger Lakes Community Health, we are champions for our patients. That means we work hard to ensure that you get the quality healthcare services you need, no matter where you live. And since the Pharmacy is open to the community, family members and friends can also experience its convenience and friendly staff.