David from Brugge in Belgium posed the following question in this edition of U-talk:
“Will a chemist in Italy accept my prescription issued by a Belgian doctor? Or should I buy my medicine at home and take it with me?”
Luisa Laranjo, from the information service at Europe Direct, has the answer:
“A prescription issued by a doctor in your country is valid in all EU countries. Keep in mind that as medicines are licenced by the national authorities, it might happen that when you present a prescription from your doctor to a pharmacist in another EU country, the prescribed medicine might not be available, or it may bear another name.
“You need to ask your doctor to note the ingredients of the medicine and their dosage – this will help the local chemist to dispense the right medicine.
“Prices on medicines vary from one country to another. When buying prescription medicine abroad, you will probably have to pay the full cost of the medicine up front, even if you don’t at home.
“To have the cost of your medicine reimbursed afterwards, you must present your expenses to your health insurer. The rate of reimbursement in your home country will apply.
“You should know as well that since the legislation on medicines varies between countries, you might need a prescription for a medicine abroad that you can buy over the counter in your home country.”
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