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  #41  
Old 26.10.2012, 12:08
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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What matters is that if here, a prescription is required, there is no legal way around that!
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I once ran out of my prescription medicines on a visit to Switzerland, asked nicely at the local pharmacy (accompanied by a local, which I'm sure didn't do any harm) and was able to buy enough to last till the end of my holiday.
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I've had prescription drugs without prescription before.

Well that's only half-true, there was an expired prescription and they knew I'd renew it. That's with a drug store where I had a long relationship going back years.
I've had a similar experience, having run out of some antibiotic eardrops I'd been given by the company doctor, taking the empty pack to the local pharmacy and saying 'please'. They do seem to have a certain discretion with some sorts of drugs, whereas others are an absolute no-no, like the morphine I was using some years ago. Actually needed a special prescription for that, so there's clearly at least two categories of prescription meds with different levels of scrutiny, and probably a lot of 'harmless' stuff like the aforementioned eardrops are not counted back at all.
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  #42  
Old 26.10.2012, 12:09
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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I really need to buy some medicines but i dont have prescription.
Do u have any idea??

is this going to turn into a " where can i buy rice" question again....?
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  #43  
Old 26.10.2012, 12:14
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

And just to balance the personal anecdotes...

Two pharmacies here refused to fill my prescription from my US doctor, even though it was an 'emergency' (as in, the lovely folks at TSB had confiscated my meds before my flight back here, and I was left without a critical medicine. ). I was told that the pharmacy could get into huge trouble if they accepted a prescription from a non-Swiss doctor.

However, one pharmacy helpfully called a doctor here and got me an appointment that afternoon so that I could get a prescription.

So it seems practices vary widely. Perhaps the type of med involved is key, perhaps there is an EU/non EU factor?

To the OP:

Could your friend's doctor call a doctor here in Switzerland, explain the inability to get the med in your country? I've done this the other way - when I was without my meds in the US (another trip - those lovely TSB folks again) my doc here in Switzerland called a clinic in the US, explained the situation, and the US doc gave me enough for the duration of the trip.
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Old 26.10.2012, 12:27
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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And just to balance the personal anecdotes...

Two pharmacies here refused to fill my prescription from my US doctor, even though it was an 'emergency' (as in, the lovely folks at TSB had confiscated my meds before my flight back here, and I was left without a critical medicine. ). I was told that the pharmacy could get into huge trouble if they accepted a prescription from a non-Swiss doctor.

However, one pharmacy helpfully called a doctor here and got me an appointment that afternoon so that I could get a prescription.

So it seems practices vary widely. Perhaps the type of med involved is key, perhaps there is an EU/non EU factor?

To the OP:

Could your friend's doctor call a doctor here in Switzerland, explain the inability to get the med in your country? I've done this the other way - when I was without my meds in the US (another trip - those lovely TSB folks again) my doc here in Switzerland called a clinic in the US, explained the situation, and the US doc gave me enough for the duration of the trip.
Funny thing is when you pay in cash , you get the prescription back, so there is no way anyone could know there was no prescription in the first place.
It's quite common for the answer to be 'NO' in CH, just the way people behave, does not mean they are right.
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  #45  
Old 26.10.2012, 12:52
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

A little off topic, but are swiss prescriptions valid in Germany?
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  #46  
Old 26.10.2012, 13:49
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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Avonex (interferon beta-1) is extremely expensive - more than $1000 per month! And that price is from around six years ago. I think it's nearly double that now. Having insurance to pay for it is really the only solution. How would you intend to pay for it?
How much does it cost with insurance?
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  #47  
Old 26.10.2012, 14:26
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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How much does it cost with insurance?
Thats not the way to ask the question. When you take swiss health insurance you have a deductible amount - like an excess - between 300 and 2500 CHF. If your up at the 2500 end then your monthly swiss insurance payments are less because you've agreed to pay the first 2.5k.

however if you need expensive treatments for whatever condition then you automatically choose the 300 chf option which means your total exposure is lower (its actually more than 300, its the first 300 plus 10% of the next 700 or something, i.e. 370 in total) though your monthly payments are higher. The reason you take this is that you can then get your prescription continually as it is required and the cost is not important any more as your total exposure is already limited to the 300 excess plus that 10% of the next 700 (it might be a little more than 700 I really cant remember) i.e. 370. so if your prescription comes out at 15000 CHF per year (im not joking) then you would still be exposed only to 370CHF.

Of course you would have to pay higher monthly premiums all year but this is the model.

Mike
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Old 26.10.2012, 14:28
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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How much does it cost with insurance?
If you have a standard health insurance and the med is prescribed to you by a Swiss doctor, it will be paid back minus your deductible, and/or minus 10% if you are past your deductible.

Edit: Mikers beat me to it and did a much better job!
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Old 26.10.2012, 14:32
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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Thats not the way to ask the question. When you take swiss health insurance you have a deductible amount - like an excess - between 300 and 2500 CHF. If your up at the 2500 end then your monthly swiss insurance payments are less because you've agreed to pay the first 2.5k.

however if you need expensive treatments for whatever condition then you automatically choose the 300 chf option which means your total exposure is lower (its actually more than 300, its the first 300 plus 10% of the next 700 or something, i.e. 370 in total) though your monthly payments are higher. The reason you take this is that you can then get your prescription continually as it is required and the cost is not important any more as your total exposure is already limited to the 300 excess plus that 10% of the next 700 (it might be a little more than 700 I really cant remember) i.e. 370. so if your prescription comes out at 15000 CHF per year (im not joking) then you would still be exposed only to 370CHF.

Of course you would have to pay higher monthly premiums all year but this is the model.

Mike
I thought it works as follows with a 300 CHF deductible:

you pay the first 300 CHF. After this point, you pay 10% of the bill (for many things at least) until you pay 700 CHF at which point the insurance then pays 100% so your total exposure is 1000 CHF. It is the "same" if you have the 2500 CHF deductible, just your total exposure is then 2500 + 700 CHF. I hope this is correct, because I have finally convinced myself this is how it works
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Old 26.10.2012, 14:32
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If you have a standard health insurance and the med is prescribed to you by a Swiss doctor, it will be paid back minus your deductible, and/or minus 10% if you are past your deductible.

Edit: Mikers beat me to it and did a much better job!
Be aware not all drugs are covered by the insurance.
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  #51  
Old 26.10.2012, 14:43
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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I thought it works as follows with a 300 CHF deductible:

you pay the first 300 CHF. After this point, you pay 10% of the bill (for many things at least) until you pay 700 CHF at which point the insurance then pays 100% so your total exposure is 1000 CHF. It is the "same" if you have the 2500 CHF deductible, just your total exposure is then 2500 + 700 CHF. I hope this is correct, because I have finally convinced myself this is how it works
yep thats it exactly - ive been here too long im afraid, dont remember the finer details.
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Old 26.10.2012, 14:57
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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So it seems practices vary widely. Perhaps the type of med involved is key, perhaps there is an EU/non EU factor?
I'm sure it's more to do with what type of meds they are rather than if it's EU or not. I imagine it would be easier to get a cholesterol drug for example and not happening if it's anti-psychotics or opiates, etc.

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If you have a standard health insurance and the med is prescribed to you by a Swiss doctor, it will be paid back minus your deductible, and/or minus 10% if you are past your deductible.
Exactly right. It defeats the "no prescription" thing as it will have to be prescribe to the person insured in order for it to be reimbursed. Unless the OP suffers from MS too then it's not likely to be paid for by the insurance.
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Old 26.10.2012, 15:20
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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Of course you would have to pay higher monthly premiums all year but this is the model.

Mike
I only pay 86 per month, i reckon then no deduction would happen to 1600 CHF to get those medicines.
What the hell is this insurance???!
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Old 26.10.2012, 15:27
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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I'm sure it's more to do with what type of meds they are rather than if it's EU or not. I imagine it would be easier to get a cholesterol drug for example and not happening if it's anti-psychotics or opiates, etc.
Quite right. I could buy Rx-Only drugs for my GF, and my GF could buy Rx-only drugs for me, w/o any prescription at all. It is possible and the pharmacist has the authority. But there must be very good reason and a very low potential of abuse. And there is not a very good story to get interferon w/o a doctors prescription. I am how likely is it that you get out of the bed and suddenly realize that you suffer from MS and would need the drug immediately?

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Exactly right. It defeats the "no prescription" thing as it will have to be prescribe to the person insured in order for it to be reimbursed. Unless the OP suffers from MS too then it's not likely to be paid for by the insurance.
Actually there are Rx-only drugs wher you will get no reimbursement from your insurance like anti baby pills. and there are non-Rx drugs where you can get a reimbursement if you have a prescription such as some OTC painkillers. If you will get reimbursement or not depends on if the drug is on the BAG Spezialitätenliste (Marked with SL in the BAG column on Compedium.ch) or not.
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Old 26.10.2012, 15:45
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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I only pay 86 per month, i reckon then no deduction would happen to 1600 CHF to get those medicines.
What the hell is this insurance???!
In any case, even if you could get it without a prescription, your insurance won't pay for it at all!

Tom
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Old 26.10.2012, 15:49
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

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Quite right. I could buy Rx-Only drugs for my GF, and my GF could buy Rx-only drugs for me, w/o any prescription at all. It is possible and the pharmacist has the authority. But there must be very good reason and a very low potential of abuse. And there is not a very good story to get interferon w/o a doctors prescription. I am how likely is it that you get out of the bed and suddenly realize that you suffer from MS and would need the drug immediately?



Actually there are Rx-only drugs wher you will get no reimbursement from your insurance like anti baby pills. and there are non-Rx drugs where you can get a reimbursement if you have a prescription such as some OTC painkillers. If you will get reimbursement or not depends on if the drug is on the BAG Spezialitätenliste (Marked with SL in the BAG column on Compedium.ch) or not.

Anti-baby pills? Love it! lol
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Old 26.10.2012, 16:48
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Re: where can i buy medicines without prescription???

It only works, apparently, only with some types of multiple-sclerosis, but not all, and only in the early stages- and as it depresses the immune system, it has to be on prescription with very close medical monitoring. Hence the reason it is prescription only. And yes, it is VERY expensive (I asked a doctor friend today.)
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