June 24, 2017

Building a Stockpile of Medicine

Stocking up on most items is pretty easy, as long as you have the money, but what about medicine?  Because it can be a bit more difficult, here are some things you can try to build a small stockpile of the meds you take daily.


90 Day Supply

Many insurance companies will let you order a 90 day supply of some medications.  If yours will not do it automatically, there may be a form you can fill out to request that they allow it.


Slowly Building a Stockpile

I got this tip from a local Emergency Manager.  If you can purchase a 90 day supply, you can often refill it a few days or weeks before it runs out.  For example, let’s say that time is 14 days.  Once you receive the new prescription, take 14 pills out of it and put it in a third container.  Continue to do this until the third bottle is filled.  Use this bottle as your main bottle, letting the new bottle you just received be your reserve.  Now you should have an extra 30-90 day supply.  Remember to keep it in rotation.



We use Walgreens as our pharmacy.  One option they have is auto refills.  They will automatically refill eligible prescriptions every time your insurance company allows it.  This is often sooner than the prescription runs out.  This essentially does the same as the above, but you don’t have to remove pills from the new bottle and add them to the third.  This method has gotten my wife a three month supply of asthma medicine that she needs every day.


Lost or Misplaced

If you lose or misplace your medicine, a call to the pharmacy can often get them to contact your insurance company to authorize a refill.


Talking to your Physician

Believe it or not there are many physicians around who are open to the idea of you being medically prepared.  Cynthia J. Koelker, MD wrote an article on the SurvivalBlog called “How to Get Your Doctor to Help You Stockpile Medicine”.  This article has some very good advice on how to approach the subject.



While I’m not a huge fan of Walmart, they do have a pretty good prescription plan.  For $4 you can get a 30 day supply of certain medications, and for $10 you can get a 90 day supply.  If you found a doctor who was sympathetic to your desire to build a small stockpile of medications, they could write you a paper prescription and you could pay for this out of pocket.  This way the insurance company is out of the loop.   Follow the link to see a list of included medicines.


Veterinary Medicines

Did you know that many of the medicines given to animals are the exact same medicines given to humans?  Sometimes they change the name, sometimes they don’t.  I’m not saying this is a good or bad option, just giving you the information.  I’ll let you decide.


Here are two articles on other blogs on the subject.  I’m sure you can find more with just a few minutes of research.  Guide to Veterinary Drugs for Human Consumption, Post-SHTF and Preparing for Medical Emergencies When There Is No Doctor

As I mentioned, building a stockpile of medicines can be more difficult, but hopefully one of these options can help you.  If you have another idea, please list it in the comments.



  1. Good article! Having the right medicine available during an emergency is something that we all need to be prepared for.

    Thanks for mentioning one of our articles!


  2. I simply had my script changed from 2x daily to 3x, putting 1/3 aside.

  3. Keith Reynolds says:

    I work on AC’s. This summer I worked on a doctors unit & while there we started talking about meds and prepping. He wrote two different scripts, one for sulfa and the other for a broad band antibiotic for a years supply taken once daily. I have a 90 day supply for each as of now but I will refill them in another month. For his willingness to help me I ended up doing my service call for free. I also have some fish meds in stock. I purchased the book Armageddon medicine and received a cd on using fish antibiotics for humans. . . Personal note; I am glad to you are posting again on a regular basis. :-)

    • Chris Ray says:

      Wow Keith, that sounds like you stumbled onto a great deal. I’ve thought about talking to my doc about it, but I don’t think the timing is right.

      I’m glad you like that I’m posting more, you wouldn’t believe the amount of people that have left because of how often I used to post, which was just once a day. I have another couple big projects soaking up my time, but I’m trying to post at least 2-3 times a week for now.

  4. Jim Moore says:

    Good post. Great articles. I’m weak in this area. My lovely wife is a Registered Nurse and not on-board as a prepper much, but is supportive of me. I do need to stock some things.

    Another couple of great resources to have on hand, in book form, “Where There Is No Dentist” and “Where There Is No Doctor.” Hesperian.org has a lot of great resources.


    • Chris Ray says:

      Thanks Jim. I guess having her be supportive of you is much better then being against it. Hesperian.org is on the upcoming link library, they do have all kinds of fantastic information,

  5. I never considered stock piling my meds. I will need them for the rest of my life, so need to do something. Thanks for making me aware of the need.I thought about food, first aid, pets clothes,etc… don’t know why i never thought of that.

  6. Also always ask the doc for samples when you’re in the office. They’re individually labeled, often have a more stable shelf-life, and you won’t get in trouble for having more than prescribed, expired labels, the wrong name, etc.

  7. My son is a Dr. and he says you for instance get your drugs for a year supply, they will last a year beyond that no problem. Then they will just lose their strengh and you might have to take 2 for one. I mean this is in a emergency situation we are all preparing for. I have a family member that goes to Mexico and takes a list of subscription drugs along and gets them for family members. They actually get their drugs from U.S. and re bottle and sell for practically nothing. My blood pressure med costs approx 25.00 a month and they can get it there for 3 dollars for 3 month supply.
    Crazy huh?

    • Prices in Mexico are much cheaper, I’m not sure that they buy all of them here though, and I worry about the quality. It is true that they will last much longer then the expiration dates say, sometimes up to eight years or more.

  8. I stock pet meds ( mostly antibiotics ), and some pain meds that I got refilled and did not need. Also, a lot of over the counter stuff. These will be like gold someday.
    I keep antibiotics and such in a little fridge, vacuum packed and at 40 degrees.

    • you’re going a lot further then I am, good for you. The Air Force asked the FDA to do a study to see how long meds were effective after their expiration date. The FDA found that some were effective five years longer, some as many as fifteen. Store them in a cool dark place, a closed, cold refrigerator is indeed that.

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