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How do I present prescriptions that have been issued to me in Germany?

If your doctor or dentist in Germany has issued you with prescriptions, you can present them directly in Germany or in the country in which you live. A few things need to be borne in mind here, however.

Your doctor or dentist may prescribe a medicinal product or medicinal devices to you (such as bandages) following out-patient or in-patient treatment in Germany. You can present the prescription either in Germany or in another Member State.

Presenting prescriptions in Germany

Please ask your doctor or dentist where in Germany the medicinal products or medicinal devices which have been prescribed can be presented. This will be either a pharmacy or a medical supply store.

You initially have to pay the cost of the medicinal products or medicinal devices yourself when you are treated as a private patient. After returning to the country in which you live, your healthcare insurer will as a rule reimburse you the costs up to the price which you would have paid in the country in which you live. Should you have any questions as to the amount of the reimbursement, please contact your health insurance fund or the National Contact Point of the state in which you live.

Presenting prescriptions in another Member State

As a matter of principle, you can present a prescription that has been issued in Germany for medicinal products or medicinal devices in another Member State. You should however inform your doctor or dentist in Germany of this. In this case, the prescription must satisfy certain requirements as to its contents.

  • Name(s) of the patient
  • Forename(s) (written out, i.e. not only initials)
  • Date of birth
  • Date issued
  • Name(s) of the prescribing doctor or dentist
  • Forename(s) (written out)
  • Professional qualification
  • Direct contact information (e-mail and telephone or fax number, in each case with the international dialling code)
  • Office address (including the name of the Member State in question)
  • Signature (handwritten or digital, depending on the medium on which the prescription is issued)

Identity of the medicinal product prescribed where necessary

  • The “common name” of the medicinal product in accordance with European directives (2001/83/EC) (International Non-proprietary Name). The brand name is only used in exceptional cases.
  • Form of administration (tablet, solution, etc.)
  • Amount
  • Strength
  • Dosage

N.B.

Please make sure that your doctor or dentist does not prescribe the package size designation when it comes to the quantity of the medicinal product to be stated. The package size designation in Germany is a standardised size for three package sizes with different numbers of tablets, capsules, suppositories, etc. It is abbreviated on the prescription to N1, N2 or N3. This standard size is unknown in other Member States. A doctor or dentist or pharmacist in another Member State cannot comprehend this quantity information, so that the prescription must state the precise quantity (e.g. 20 pieces).

  • Name(s) of the patient
  • Forename(s) (written out)
  • Date of birth
  • Date issued
  • Name(s) of the prescribing doctor or dentist
  • Forename(s) (written out)
  • Professional qualification
  • Direct contact information (e-mail and telephone or fax number, in each case with the international dialling code)
  • Office address (including the name of the Member State in question)
  • Signature (handwritten or digital, depending on the medium on which the prescription is issued)

Identity of the medicinal device prescribed, where necessary

  • “Common name” of the medicinal device

If you present the prescriptions in the country in which you live, your healthcare insurer will as a rule pay or reimburse the costs that would have been incurred in case of a prescription issued by a healthcare provider (such as a doctor) in the country in which you live.

Difficulties that might be encountered when presenting prescriptions in the country in which you live

The procedure for the cross-border presentation of prescriptions from other Member States is still rather new. We therefore recommend you at the moment to present the medicinal products or medicinal devices prescribed by your doctor or dentist in Germany.

The following practical problems might occur when presenting a prescription which has been issued in Germany in the state in which you live:

  • The medicinal product or medicinal device prescribed is not available in the state in which you live (in this form) or is unknown under the name given in the prescription.
  • The pharmacist or other healthcare provider in the state in which you live understands the prescriptions wrongly or not at all.
  • The German doctor has not stated the precise quantity of the medicinal product that he/she has prescribed, but the package size designation.

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