How many cycles of birth control pills will I receive?

There's many of factors to consider when the pharmacist determines how many cycles to dispense.

  • How the prescription was written. Was it written to dispense only one cycle at a time, or did it allow for more than one cycle to be dispensed? If your family physician wants you to have more than one cycle at a time, they need to write the prescription so that multiple cycles can be dispensed.
  • The amount of time left in the semester. The pharmacy may dispense enough cycles to last through the end of eligibility.
  • How many refills are left on your prescription.
  • How many cycles you have already received for the semester.

All of these factors have to be taken into consideration before the pharmacist can determine how many cycles to dispense.

How do I transfer my prescription in?

There are now a number of ways to transfer your prescription into the pharmacy.

  • Go to the McKinley Pharmacy Refill/Transfer Application and fill out the prescription transfer form. When your prescription is ready for pick-up, you'll find a message when logging back into the program where you made the transfer request in your MyMcKinley area. The transfer page is intended for transferring prescriptions to our pharmacy, not for transferring them out to another pharmacy. -or-
  • Bring your bottle or compact to the pharmacy. From the information on the label, we'll call the pharmacy where your prescription was originally filled and transfer the information in. This could take as long as a week depending on the time of the year and the number of prescriptions that need to be transferred. -or-
  • Call us with the information. We'll call the pharmacy where the prescription was filled and transfer the prescription in.

The pharmacy prefers that you use the MyMcKinley transfer page to transfer your prescription in.

How do I transfer a prescription out?

To transfer your prescription out, take your label or bottle to the pharmacy of your choice - it has all of the information needed to transfer the prescription. If you don't have a label, you can still go to an outside pharmacy - give them your name, ID number, our phone number (217-333-2710,) and the name of the medication you want transferred. They'll call our pharmacy to transfer the prescription.

Does the McKinley Fee cover prescriptions filled at other pharmacies?

No - the Health Service Fee only applies to prescriptions filled at the McKinley pharmacy.

Can I have a prescription written by my family physician filled at McKinley Pharmacy?

Yes, you may have them e-scribe,, call (217-333-7253), or fax (217-244-6309) your order to the Pharmacy. You may want to check McKinley Pharmacy Formulary for pricing. Again, call first if you have questions.

How do I get my outside prescription filled?

Please let you provider know McKinley Pharmacy now accepts e-scribe prescriptions for non-controlled medications. If you have an order for a controlled substance, a hardcopy of the written presscription is required. If you have a prescription written by an outside physician, you can bring it in or have your physician's office call in the order or fax the prescription to us at 217-244-6309. It sometimes takes a while for your physician to get it to us, so it's a good idea to call to make sure we have received the fax and are able to fill it. It's helpful if your physician puts your student ID number and birth date on the prescription. This allows us to process faxed prescriptions as they come in. We currently don't accept call-in prescriptions unless your physician can't fax it in.

I talked to my doctor's nurse this morning; when will they fax in my prescription?

There are many factors that affect how long it takes your doctor to phone or fax us your prescription. Please allow at least 24 hours from the time you talked to you doctor before calling to check on your prescription, unless it's an emergency.

I'm out of refills - will you call my doctor?

Currently, we don't call physicians for refills. If the prescription is written by a McKinley physician, you'll need to contact Dial-A-Nurse. If it's written by your family physician, you should contact them and get a new prescription e-scribed, faxed (217-244-6309), or called (217-333-7253) to us.

Eligibility - When will I be charged the Health Service Fee?

As a general rule, you'll be charged the fee if you're taking 6 or more hours per semester. This fee is included with your tuition bill. There are some exceptions - for example, registered students not studying on campus or study abroad students are not charged the fee - they are not in town to use the McKinley services. McKinley now allows spouses of graduate students to purchase McKinley coverage. If you have questions on your coverage, contact the Business Office.

As a study abroad student, can I purchase medications for the entire semester?

If your prescriptions have enough refills and your physician approves, you can purchase up to a three month supply of the medication necessary to get you through. It may be more economical to use your insurance at an outside pharmacy. Call us for more information.

When does the McKinley coverage end?

Eligibility ends the day before the start of classes for the next semester/session. For exact dates, see the Business Office Web page.

What restrictions are put on buying prescriptions?

You have 90 days after the end of your eligibility to purchase any refills you have at McKinley. You can also transfer your prescriptions out.

May I buy birth control pills for the summer?

If you have refills available, you can purchase the cycles needed to carry you through the summer. We recommend that you don't wait until the very end of the semester to do this.

Will the antibiotic that I am taking interfere with my birth control pills?

Some antibiotics can decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Please discuss this with your provider or pharmacist. If they feel there may be a decrease in effectiveness, use some other form of back up protection while on the antibiotic and for an additional seven days.

What kinds of birth control pills does the pharmacy stock?

Check here to see the most recent list of available products.

Do I have refills left on my prescription?

The last line on your label tells you how many refills remain on your prescription to be filled by a certain date. A prescription is good for one year from the date it's written. A controlled drug is good for six months from the date it's written.

Does McKinley accept outside insurance cards?

No, not at this time.

I've lost my medication, can I get a refill free of charge?

No, McKinley is not responsible for lost medications. If you lose your medication and have refills remaining, you'll have to purchase the refill. If a medication that's lost has no refills, you'll need to get a new prescription before coming to the pharmacy to purchase your medication.

What kind of payment do you accept?

Cash, check, credit cards, Illini Cash, Apple or Google Pay. It also may be possible to charge medication to your student account.

What are the Pharmacy's hours?

Summer hours:


CLOSED June 1st through August 10th, 2019


Winter Break and Summer:


CLOSED June 1st Through August 10th, 2019