Prescribing, dispensing and purchasing medicines in the EU member states is subject to the national legislation, conditions and possible restrictions applied by the national law of each country. This means that a pharmacist will apply national rules when dispensing your medicine. Some medicines may not be authorized for sale or may not be available in another country, even within the EU.

As an EOPYY-insured person, the purchase of medicines in the EU can take place in the following situations:

  • Purchase of medicines or medical devices in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, which have been prescribed by a healthcare professional in the same country;
  • Purchase of medicines or medical devices in an EU/EEA country, which have been prescribed by a healthcare professional of a different EU/EEA country using a cross-border prescription;
  • Import and distribution of pharmaceutical products which are not marketed in the Greek market by pharmaceutical companies, but are considered absolutely necessary for the treatment of patients and the protection of public health through the Institute of Pharmaceutical Research & Technology (IFET).

For each of the above cases, make sure that you contact your statutory health insurance service, in order to know your options.

For the terms and conditions of prescribing and dispensing medicines or medical devices in the EU/ EEA member states, you can contact the national contact point of the country you are visiting.

Using the EHIC at the pharmacy

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles you to receive necessary treatment with the same rights to health care as people insured in the country you are in. If you have a prescription from the country you are in, you should present it together with the EHIC when you go to the pharmacy.

This means that you will pay the same rate at the pharmacy as someone who was insured and living in that country. In some EU countries this may mean that you won’t pay anything, while in others you may be required to pay a certain amount (co-payment) towards the cost of your prescription.


If you don’t have an EHIC or you have a cross-border prescription

You will most likely have to pay the full cost of a product or medicine dispensed on prescription at the pharmacy if:

  • you don’t have an EHIC or have forgotten to take your EHIC abroad with you, or
  • you have private travel insurance, or
  • you have a prescription from another EU country (cross-border prescription)

Make sure you ask the pharmacy for a receipt. You should then request reimbursement from your statutory health insurance service when you return to your home country.

Last Update: 24 May 2021
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