Imagine you are on a vacation with your family with the sound of waves crashing and warm sun rays peeking through the palm trees around you. Then, an alarm goes off on your phone to remind you to take your medication and when you open the bottle, you realize your prescription is running low.

Much to your chagrin, you end up sacrificing money and hours of precious vacation time to find, schedule and visit an emergency room, urgent care center, or pharmacy clinic to obtain a new prescription.

Thanks to OneVA Pharmacy, VA is making prescription refills simpler for traveling Veterans. OneVA Pharmacy is available and implemented at all VA medical centers (VAMC) as of June 2018. By simply registering at a local VAMC that uses OneVA, Veterans can forego the time-consuming and convoluted process formerly required to request a new prescription.

“Right now, throughout the entire country, if you have a Veteran living in California and travel to Florida and want to have their prescription, they can do that. They go to the pharmacy and use this product to get the prescription filled,” explained Ms. Angela Chow, an implementation manager with VA’s Office of Information and Technology (OIT).

Uniformity Breeds Simplicity

Before the implementation of OneVA Pharmacy, traveling Veterans who needed a prescription refill were required to either a) visit the emergency room, b) visit the urgent care center, or c) schedule a pharmacy clinic appointment.

With OneVA, patients’ pharmacy information is available across VA so pharmacists can access any prescription already on file from any VAMC. Veterans on the road can easily refill their prescriptions—with the exception of controlled substance prescriptions, such as opioid or narcotic pain relievers and anti-anxiety medications.

This new process improves efficiency and saves time for both Veterans and pharmacists. By providing streamlined access to Veterans’ active and refillable prescription information and enabling the ability to request prescription refills directly from any VA pharmacy, pharmacists can fulfill window refill requests much more quickly.

The Road to OneVA

VHA and OIT worked jointly to roll out OneVA Pharmacy through several phases starting at the end of 2016, with the final step of implementation finished in June 2018. Since final implementation, pharmacists have filled 7,934 prescriptions and saved countless hours of Veteran and provider time.

Despite the successful implementation of OneVA during the first phase of the project, there is still work to be done to make this service even greater for Veterans and pharmacists. Dr. Robert Silverman, PharmD, VHA’s project manager for OneVA Pharmacy shared, “Phase two will allow VA pharmacies to address many of the integrated workflow functions not present in OneVA Pharmacy phase one.”

Phase two of the project will also eliminate the need for a pharmacist to contact another pharmacist to work around scenarios not yet covered by OneVA Pharmacy.

A unified VA pharmacy across VA is vital to providing better services to Veterans, improving efficiency, and providing safe care by reducing chances for mistakes, especially for the aging Veteran population.

VHA and OIT will continue to partner together to further improve the connection and capabilities between pharmacies so that Veterans receive the high-quality health care services they have earned.

This story was provided from the VA Office of Information and Technology. The mission of the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) is to collaborate with our business partners to create the best experience for all Veterans.

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Published on Oct. 5, 2018

Estimated reading time is 2.8 min.

Views to date: 1,100


  1. Pamela Kelly October 29, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    My best use of VA Pharmacy was to provide a Vacation Address in advance of the trip. There have been some screw-ups on the VA’s part. Once I did have to go to a local VA for a prescription refill, fortunately doctors and pharmacists at both VA’s worked together to solve the issue. At another time the address change did not make it into the computer for reasons unknown to any of us, my doctor’s nurse asked the pharmacy to overnight my prescription and made certain my vacation address was entered in correctly.

    Hey VA, what would be more useful would be if you made it possible to refill at ANY Pharmacy. Not everyone vacations near a VA Medical Center.

  2. Rae Ann Panther October 12, 2018 at 11:45 am

    How do we do it? Would be nice to have an explanation or link to follow up the article.

  3. jackjone October 12, 2018 at 3:00 am

    VHA and OIT will continue to partner together to further improve the connection and capabilities between pharmacies You are Great, One VA Pharma great work keep it up……

  4. Juan M Castro October 11, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    My prescription was supposed to come to me at the address I provided and it was at Texas harlingen pharmacy for pickup. Juan Manuel Castro I was trying to update my stadus but it would not let me .

  5. FELIX PADILLA SANTIAGO October 11, 2018 at 9:19 am


  6. John Adebimitan October 9, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Wow, nice move. Veterans like my dad deal with being forgetful sometimes, having something like this ensures the never miss a medication.

  7. Ralph Schlemmer October 7, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    this info is great, except it does not list the VAs participating or how a Vet accesses and/or utilizes OneVA Pharm

  8. Lawrence Penberthy October 7, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Does not sound efficient. Example,,, I live in Oregon, I was vacationing in SouthDakota. I was low on meds. I called my pharmacy in Oregon, and meds were sent next day. The closest vet pharmacy was 250 miles away,,,,, why is this new way better. And how are vets going to get on the base when they get there?

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