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A prescription delivered by a doctor in your country is valid in all EU countries. To buy prescription medicine from a pharmacy in one EU country with a prescription issued in a different EU/EEA country (cross-border prescription), you should make sure that your prescription includes the necessary information. You will have to pay upfront and contact your statutory health insurance service back home to know whether you are entitled to reimbursement of costs.

If a medicinal product is authorized to be marketed on their territory, member states ensure that prescriptions issued for such a product in another Member State for a named patient can be dispensed on their territory in compliance with their national legislation in force, and that any restrictions on recognition of individual prescriptions are prohibited unless such restrictions are:

  • limited to what is necessary and proportionate to safeguard human health, and non-discriminatory; or
  • based on legitimate and justified doubts about the authenticity, content or comprehensibility of an individual prescription.

However, a medicine prescribed in one country might not be available or it may have another commercial name in a different country. Some medicines may not be authorized for sale or may not be available in another country, even within the EU.

There is no specific form or format for a cross-border prescription you will use in another EU country. If you intend to present a cross-border prescription in another EU Member State, you must inform the prescribing doctor, as the cross-border prescription must meet certain requirements in order for the medicinal product to be recognized and for you to be able to buy it.

A cross- border prescription has to contain at least the following information:

  • Patient details: surname and first name (both written in full), and date of birth
  • Date of issue of the prescription
  • Details of the prescribing doctor: surname and first name (written in full), professional qualification, direct contact details, work address (including the country), and signature (written or digital)
  • Details of the prescribed product: its common name (rather than the brand name, which may be different in another country), format (tablet, solution, etc), quantity, strength and dosage.

EOPYY-insured persons who intend to present a cross-border prescription in another EU/EEA member state can ask the prescribing doctor to complete the cross-border prescription form, available here.

Last Update: 19 May 2021
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