An automated prescription distribution system is designed to permit the doctor to continue to write prescriptions on a paper pad and to take advantage of technology, such as fax machines and personal computers, that already exist in the doctor's office. The doctor writes the prescription on a prescription pad and faxes (Fig. 1-2) it to the prescription distribution center (PDC) (Fig. 1-6). The PDC (Fig. 1-6) then distributes the prescription to stores (Fig. 1-12 or 14) that were either pre-selected and entered into the PDC system (Fig. 1-6) or that were noted on the prescription. Alternatively, the prescription pads used by the doctor contain routing information, which may include drugstore names and check boxes. The doctor, with the patient's input, may check the boxes of the drugstores to which the prescription is to be routed.