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Prescriptions and Purchasing Medications in Spain

Prescriptions and Purchasing Medications in Spain

Starting with the fact that in Spain, a prescription is a written recommendation from a doctor indicating the name of the medical preparation, dosage, frequency, and duration of medication intake, with the doctor's signature and stamp (who is a member of the medical association in Spain and has a corresponding collegiate number) and a date (usually prescriptions are valid for 14 days).

Prescriptions under the Social Insurance system in Spain can take several forms: green and red prescriptions are issued in state clinics only to citizens of the country and residents with social insurance. Green prescriptions imply up to a 60% discount, while red prescriptions provide a 100% discount on medications. To protect against forgeries, these prescriptions have barcodes, and in the pharmacy, you will be asked for your Tarjeta Sanitaria. There are also so-called electronic prescriptions - a prescription with a list of drugs for constant treatment (for patients with asthma, hypertension, and diabetes, etc.) that are given for a long period, up to one year. This way, the patient goes to the pharmacy for medicines that he is running out of without needing to visit the doctor for a prescription each time.

Prescriptions issued by private doctors from non-governmental health institutions do not have protective elements or barcodes. It does not matter in which format this prescription is made; the main thing is that the doctor specifies his collegiate number.

Antibiotics, many pain relievers, hormonal, antihypertensive drugs, anti-asthmatic, ampoule preparations, psychotropic, antidepressants, and narcotic substances cannot be bought in Spain without a doctor's prescription. You can use the prescription only once, after which they confiscate it at the pharmacy. A special government inspection monitors the turnover of drugs in Spain, and if prescription drugs are sold without a prescription, the pharmacy can be fined up to 5-6 thousand euros.

Paracetamol, ibuprofen (Nurofen), metamizole (Analgin), aspirin, Motilium, metoclopramide (Cerucal), omeprazole (Omez), vitamins, and some other drugs can be purchased at the pharmacy without a prescription, but you need to know the Spanish name of the medication.

It is also worth noting that the cost of medicines, prescribed by prescription, are subject to full reimbursement in the Russian Federation upon return (for patients who called a doctor in Spain by insurance). For this, you need to save the prescription (or its copy), a pharmacy receipt. You can find detailed instruction on medical expense compensation in the supplement to the insurance policy.

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