Mailing Out Prescriptions

VTH Policy: #Pharm618

Implementation Date: 10/2021

Date of Last Revision: 1/2023

Next Review Due: 1/2026


Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: 10/2021

Reviewed by VTH Board: N/A


Approved by VTH Director: 10/2021

Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: N/A

Subject to modification by the VTH Director without approval.


All prescribed medications that are sent out from the VTH must adhere to the Medication Dispensary’s procedures and the shipping address must be within the State of Illinois due to our license restrictions. 


The mailing address needs to be verified with the recipient and shipping fees will need to be charged appropriately. Controlled Substances will require a signature upon delivery. Payment must be received for medication and shipping fees prior to being shipped out. Prescription food cannot be shipped out. 

Procedure (if applicable)

  1. Once a prescription has been pinned off in the Health Information System and filled with the correct label, the recipient will need to be contacted for shipping verification. Prescriptions must be entered and pinned off completely by 1:00 p.m. to ensure the possibility of successfully shipping out medications. Any refill requests made by the client after 1:00 p.m. are not guaranteed for shipment that same day. 

  2. When shipping to a client, staff will print out an address label from the HIS and verify the correct address it needs to be shipped to. Staff will verify it is within Illinois State, due to the license restrictions. Clients will be contacted via telephone at the number in their HIS profile, in an attempt to verify the shipping address and payment information. Dispensary staff will make daily attempts for three business days from the prescription filled date; , andhereafter the medication will be returned at that point due to unsuccessful attempts to collect payment. Shipping services will be provided by UPS or FedEx, with additional options of Overnight delivery or Saturday delivery. Medications will be shipped in accordance with the client’s requested shipping method. 

  3. Shipping prices are as followed: $15.00 for Standard Ground Shipping; $20.00 for Overnight Shipping; and $30.00 for Saturday shipping (regardless of preference of UPS or FedEx). In special circumstances of large overweight items, package shall be weighed and charged appropriately. If overweight items exceed shipping charge, client will be notified and charged accordingly. 

  4. Filled controlled substances will require the day supply to be verified by a pharmacist to be in accordance with state regulations. Controlled substances that are mailed will have a Signature Required confirmation add-on when using the UPS/FedEx Shipping kiosk. Additionally, the medication dispensary requires all gabapentin prescriptions will need a signature required. 

  5. Medications shall be packaged carefully with cotton balls and bubble wrap as needed. Hazardous and/or cytotoxic drugs will be in yellow Hazardous bags. Refrigerated items will be shipped accordingly to accommodate the temperature requirements of the product (i.e., ice packs in an insulated cooler box); however, there are no guarantees that it will remain sufficiently cold until arrival. It is the client’s responsibility to request overnight or Saturday delivery. Liquid oral medications and topical liquids will be examined to have no leakage or broken seals. Staff will apply tape over lid if needed, and place in Ziploc bag before packaging in box for extra protection. Liquid oral medications will include a dosing oral syringe (with correct Dose Mark sticker) for client to use. 
    Extra syringes can be provided if requested, or if long-term use will require extras. 

  6. In cases of sending a medication to another clinic for administration, the address will need to be clearly verified (such as Suite #, Attention to:, etc.) and a signature will be required by the receiving clinic. Applicable shipping fees will still apply and be charged to either the owner or VTH service.

  7. When a VTH service has offered to cover the shipping fee, (day supply miscalculation, owner left medication, dosage errors, etc.) dispensary staff will add the applicable shipping fee in the HIS to the services’ account. Once the shipping fee has been added to the service, staff will also enter a blank shipping charge under the patient’s account to show the item has been mailed out during that time. 

  8. Once dispensary staff has packaged the medication and applied the correct shipping label and delivery method, and UPS/FedEx has picked up the package and left our VTH facility, it is no longer the VTH’s responsibility for any damages or delays that may occur. If client calls the dispensary to ask for the tracking number, dispensary staff will provide the client with that information. 

• If packages are lost, delayed, or “delivered” but not found at the target residence, it is the client’s responsibility to investigate and call the appropriate customer service for assistance. 
• If package is returned to us (recipient declined package; multiple attempted deliveries; wrong access, etc.) and is clearly visible that the original bubble envelope or box seal has not been tampered with (i.e., opened then resealed) then it is at the pharmacist’s discretion that the medication cost can be credited back to the client’s account. Per federal regulations, medications cannot be accepted back once it has left the facility and medication must be properly disposed of. 

Definitions (if applicable)

HIS: Health Information System

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.


Keywords:Pharmacy, dispensary, prescription, mail, FedEx, UPS, USPS, SG, ground, overnight, Saturday, deliver, ship, food, restrict, Illinois, address, weigh, overweight, signature, controlled substance, gabapentin, compliance, regulation, packaged, wrap, hazardous, cytotoxic, refrigerate, temperature, ice pack, liquid, cooler, envelope, method, fee, attention, delay, lost   Doc ID:124623
Owner:Jenny C.Group:University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created:2023-03-07 11:32 CDTUpdated:2023-03-07 11:53 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Feedback:  0   0