Helpful Tips about Pharmacies in Germany and Medication in Germany
In Germany, Pharmacies or chemists are responsible for dispensing medication. These are called an Apotheke, and they will usually display a large, red A in the store window to signify the store's function. These should not be confused with a drugstore, or Drogerie as said in German, which is a store that sells toiletries, snacks, and is more like a general store. Pharmacies are usually open hours that are similar to other shops, which is typically weekdays from 09:00-18:30, and weekends from 09:00-13:00. For emergency situations, there is usually one pharmacy around that is open 24 hours a day.
There are two types of Medicine in Germany, general over-the-counter drugs and prescription medicines. Prescription medicine requires a prescription, or Rezept in German, that is taken by a patient to the pharmacist who will issue the medication. The law regarding prescriptions is very strict, and some medication that you may be able to buy in another country without a prescription, such as antibiotics, must be prescribed by a Doctor in Germany. That being said, there are still some basic pain medications like ibuprofen are still available at pharmacies without a doctor's prescription.
Medication in Germany is among some of the most expensive in Europe, so it can be a good idea to bring a supply of non-prescription painkillers, cold remedies, or other products with you. Although health insurance will help cover the cost of prescription medications, non-prescription drugs are not covered by most health plans, which means patients need to pay for the entire cost of such medication. B-Protected Germany provides health insurance that helps cover some of the costs of prescription medication. Pharmacies in Germany will still require those covered by health insurance to pay for medication at the counter, but they can be reimbursed by saving the receipts and sending them to their insurer. Contact B-Protected Germany for further details on how this process works.