Getting medication in the Czech Republic
For freely available medication in the Czech Republic the full price has to be paid by the patient. The pharmacist informs you about the dosage of the medication and possible side effects. Medication that needs a prescription is free of charge if it is fully covered by your insurer. If your insurer does not cover the complete costs of the medication you will be charged a part of the price. However, this is not too much compared to the total price.
Validity period of prescroptions
Keep in mind that prescriptions have validity dates. Prescriptions from emergency services are only valid for one day after their issuance, prescriptions for antibiotics are valid for three days and all others are valid for one week.
To save costs the Czech government has published a list of drugs that are provided free on insurance. Only the cheapest drug of one substance group is fully paid for by the insurer unless your doctor proves that there is no alternative to a more expensive product.
Head to drugstore for toiletries
Eye products such as contact lens solutions, reading glasses and eye drops tend to not be stocked by pharmacies but are available at an optician’s. For most glasses, a prescription is required. If you are looking for toiletries and other hygienic products, head to a drugstore – pharmacies don’t stock these here.
With prescription go to ‘na rezept’ line
In most pharmacies, lines are divided into “bez rezeptu” and “na rezept.” If you have a prescription, the latter one is the one to stand in. For expats who are used to self-medicating, going through a pharmacist might take some getting used to. In addition, the language barrier often makes it difficult to communicate what you want.