How Prescription Alerts Work

Types of Prescription Alerts

Pharmacies can send alerts to remind customers when their prescription is ready for pick up.
Pharmacies can send alerts to remind customers when their prescription is ready for pick up.
© Photographer: Natalia Bratslavsky | Agency: Dreamstime

Electronic prescription alerts can be easy to arrange. You can contact many pharmacies online to set up prescription refill and possibly prescription pick-up reminders. You can buy shareware and other software to provide prescription reminders and to manage medications. Or you can subscribe to a service that will send reminders to your PC, smartphone or other mobile device. Here are some of the options.

Pharmacy. This may be the easiest option if all you need are reminders to refill and pick up prescription drugs. Many pharmacies offer refill reminders. Once you register at the online pharmacy for CVS, for example, you can have refill reminders sent to your e-mail address along with a link for instant ordering.

Pick-up reminders are less common. However, Birmingham-based Lloyds Pharmacy send text alerts to let shoppers know when prescriptions are ready to pick up [source: TextMessenger].

Shareware. If you simply want a beep and a note when it's time to take a pill, you may not need a complex medication management system. The simplest solution may be generic reminder software like ItsTime from RKS Software. Operating on the Windows platform, including Windows Mobile, this download costs $20.

Software. Prescription alert software often comes with a medication management component. OnTimeRx provides medication and medical visit reminders, days supply alerts and refill reminders on PDAs, smartphones, laptops and PCs. It also stores medical history, medication lists, treatment dates, physician contacts and other patient information. It runs on Windows and costs $35 for combination PC-PDA software.

Reminder Services. Rather than buying software, you can choose reminder services to keep your medication taking on track.

  • Medical Assistant from TasTec Inc. is an automated telephone medication reminder service for at-home seniors. The elderly person called responds to prompts reminding a person¬†to take medication, asking whether that was done and asking whether a refill is needed. The service also is available for smartphones and mobile devices.
  • e-pill medication reminders on pagers, mobile phones or PDAs connect with a tone or vibration and then gives a medication reminder including the name of drug, strength, description, dosage and any special instructions.
  • The Pill Phone adds dosage reminders and medication information to cell phones using The Pill Book as a drug reference. The Pill Phone gives audible and visual prompts and tracks and confirms doses taken. It's available from some wireless carriers at a rate of approximately $4 per month.
  • OnCellRx is a mobile reminder version of OnTimeRx and provides alerts for scheduling pill doses, monthly refill reminders, annual checkups, doctor appointments and other events. It works on smartphones running Windows Mobile and costs $10 per month for up to 40 minutes of voice reminders with unlimited email and pager reminders.

Maybe a prescription alert device would suit your needs better. Check the next page for some device options.