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Old 26.02.2013, 00:58
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foreign precription filled here?

Hello there,

Quick question;
If I have a prescription from Ireland, is it possible to have it filled here in Zurich?

Sorry if this is a complete idiot question, just I don't have too much knowledge with this type of stuff. Also I did not find anything in my searchs
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Old 26.02.2013, 08:57
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

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Hello there,

Quick question;
If I have a prescription from Ireland, is it possible to have it filled here in Zurich?

Sorry if this is a complete idiot question, just I don't have too much knowledge with this type of stuff. Also I did not find anything in my searchs
Yes, you will need to go to a pharmacy.......
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Old 26.02.2013, 09:17
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

Itís always worth a try. Sometimes they take pity on you and give you the Swiss Equivalent..
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Old 26.02.2013, 11:54
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

Normally they are not allowed to fill a foreign prescription.

There are a couple of exceptions most notably that the person is a tourist and needs to continue a certain treatment. The second (an example from Geneva) is that the doctor is based in France close to the border (this is an agreement that they have with France).

Link re Geneva: http://ge.ch/dares/SilverpeasWebFile...chment/Images/

You best bet would be to go to the pharmacy and plead your case. They may or may not help you. Some of the question will depend on what you are looking for. If it is for something birth control, you can tell them that you have not been able to find a doctor etc.

Good luck.
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Old 26.02.2013, 11:58
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

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Normally they are not allowed to fill a foreign prescription.

There are a couple of exceptions most notably that the person is a tourist and needs to continue a certain treatment. The second (an example from Geneva) is that the doctor is based in France close to the border (this is an agreement that they have with France).

Link re Geneva: http://ge.ch/dares/SilverpeasWebFile...chment/Images/



You best bet would be to go to the pharmacy and plead your case. They may or may not help you. Some of the question will depend on what you are looking for. If it is for something birth control, you can tell them that you have not been able to find a doctor etc.

Good luck.
I have used Swiss prescriptions in UK / France & Germany. Not an issue that its not in English / French
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Old 26.02.2013, 12:47
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

One of my colleagues had no problem whatsoever in submitting a UK prescription here.

As a seasoned veteran of being Switzerlanded by then she didn't pass out in the pharmacy when told the cost.

To the OP: Give it a go and at more than one pharmacy if it comes to it. Let us know how you get on.
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Old 26.02.2013, 18:00
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

I had a great experience with the bahnhof apotheke when a friend from the US was visiting. She needed something urgently and they accepted an email attachment from a doctor in the US in order to fill a prescription. Everything was finished within about 20 minutes.
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Old 26.02.2013, 21:22
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

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I have used Swiss prescriptions in UK / France & Germany. Not an issue that its not in English / French
I think that most prescriptions in Europe are in some kind of Latin short hand, so language is usually not an issue .
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Old 26.02.2013, 22:22
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

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I think that most prescriptions in Europe are in some kind of Latin short hand, so language is usually not an issue .
Not Swiss ones, I had to point out it was valid for 12 months, it just states the name of the drug & quantity, same with French ones. Latin died a long time ago......
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Old 26.02.2013, 22:29
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

I had an Irish prescription filled here up to 6 months after we arrived. Give it a try.
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Old 27.02.2013, 14:18
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

Definitely try. My mother has had prescriptions filled for her here that were written in the US without problem.
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Old 01.03.2013, 16:27
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

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I think that most prescriptions in Europe are in some kind of Latin short hand, so language is usually not an issue .
I had foreign prescriptions filled here a couple of times, without any problems. The doc wrote it in Latin, faxed it to my pharmacy, I got it filled. As long as there is an active agent in Latin written, dosage and how to use it, they will even find an equivalent (I had ATBs and some iodine filled, and gout meds for parents filled here, but since Dad is a doc, he wrote the prescription right there in the pharmacy and they filled it).
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Old 01.03.2013, 16:34
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

It depends on the drug - if the drug is not on the approved list here, or for sleeping/depression tablets which can be dangerous or highly addictive, etc, the pharmacist may refuse and ask you to see a doctor here to confirm. Same for a drug which is not sold in CH, or under another name.
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Old 01.03.2013, 18:35
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

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It depends on the drug - if the drug is not on the approved list here, or for sleeping/depression tablets which can be dangerous or highly addictive, etc, the pharmacist may refuse and ask you to see a doctor here to confirm. Same for a drug which is not sold in CH, or under another name.
I don't think different names of the same drug is an issue, often I get offered a generic, rather than what is written on the prescription
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Old 01.03.2013, 19:47
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

Agreed, and usually the pharmacist or doctor will look at the constituents and realise what it is and what the Swiss version is called. But there are a few UK used drugs which are just not available in CH, and vice-versa. OH has to get one of his medication in the UK, both our GP, heart specialist and pharmacist (several in CH and France) have tried to find an equivalent, but in vain.
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Old 01.03.2013, 22:47
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

Prescriptions should contain the following information:
- drug name
- drug dose
- frequency of intake
- total duration of intake

In a lot of countries, dose, frequency and total duration are written in Latin. Latin may be a dead language, but the abbreviations are still very much alive. For example, q.d. is short L for "quaque die", meaning (once) daily, and b.i.d. for "bis in die" which is twice daily. Of course, these instructions can also be written in any other language. The main issue being that the pharmacist must understand the instructions.

The name of the drug can be either a "generic" name or a brand name. The generic name is a unique nonproprietary name that identifies the actual drug. The brand name is the proprietary name under which a pharma company will sell the drug. Parmacies are usually encouraged to provide patients with drugs sold under a generic name, because the price is usually much lower than the brand drug with the same active drug. The grey area starts when pharmacies give patients other active drugs because they are in the same class as the prescribed drug. However, the same class does not necessarily mean the same effectiveness or the same safety profile. This is one reason why MDs will prescribe a certain brand. Another reason is successful marketing of the specific pharma company.....

Regarding the OP's question, it depends. For a drug to be sold in a country, it needs to be approved in that country. The UK has approved most drugs that are also approved in Switzerland. Therefore, for most UK prescription drugs, it is possible to find the Swiss equivalent, by using the generic name.

However, as the Swissmedic approval process is different from the UK/EU approval process, it is not uncommon that specialty drugs are approved in one region and not in the other. This reflects that there are also differences in medical thinking between the regions, and therefore a difference in what is considered an acceptable balance between the beneficial effects of the specific drug versus the safety profile of the drug in a specific patient population.

Therefore, for those drugs that are not approved in Switzerland, but were originally prescribed in the UK, I would be very hesitant to continue to use them here in Switzerland without consulting MDs in both the UK AND CH. If a drug is not approved anywhere, there is usually a reason for. And the reason is either that it is doubtful whether it is effective, or that it is a dangerous drug, or both. So, unless one is absolutely sure that the special UK drug is really what is needed to treat the specific disease, I would just consult a Swiss MD and trust their judgement in choosing the correct (Swissmedic approved) drug. From what I have seen, the average Swiss MD has an education on par with the average UK MD.
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Old 07.03.2013, 22:54
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

Thanks a million for all the advice everyone.
I did not think i would get any postitive responses, so delighted that some of you have been successful getting things filled before.

I will give it a try tomorrow and keep you all posted

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Old 15.03.2013, 20:47
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

Okay, so here is the update as promised.

I went into the Pharmacy on the Bahnhofstrasse side of the HB.
There were no problems. The pharmacist even started speaking English after she heard my non German accent.

Since the prescription was not swiss she could not charge it to my insurance card directly, but gave me the receipt and prescription document that I have to send into my insurance company personally.

Thanks for the help everyone.
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Old 15.03.2013, 21:46
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Re: foreign precription filled here?

This is my experience: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-ZpHr5l0U0
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