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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Drugs

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September 26: If I buy a product from Walmart that does not work, I can return it and get my money back. Why is it if I buy a drug that does not work, I cannot return it to the store?

CDER Director

If your drug does not work, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist to ensure that you are taking it correctly or that there is not an interaction with a food or another drug that is affecting how it works for you. Pharmacies have different policies on prescription returns. A prescription drug that has been dispensed to a patient cannot be redispensed to a different patient because the pharmacy cannot ensure that the prescription drug was handled or stored in a way that guarantees it potency and quality. Therefore, it is up to the pharmacy to determine whether it will accept your return and give you your money back.