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Old 28.05.2019, 14:20
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Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

I have looked at other threads relating to prescriptions, which answer the question of whether you can use a swiss prescription in the EU, discuss price differences and also the matter of insurance franchise.

I am wondering if any forum users go across the border to other EU countries instead of filling their prescriptions locally. I live on Lac Leman and could conceivably travel to France each month to fill my prescription. My franchise is high, so it does not matter if the prescription goes through my insurance or not as I most likely will not reach it.

Do people with long term medications have any anecdotal evidence about the value of traveling across the border to do this?
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Old 28.05.2019, 15:12
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

The insurance co will probably not reimburse you ....
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Old 28.05.2019, 15:21
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

Yes, as I say this is not a problem. I have a high franchise anyway so will be paying out of pocket either way
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Old 28.05.2019, 15:25
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

It may also matter whether or not the same medicine is avialbale in France. Sometimes these things are marketed under different names in different countries, or even sold in different concentrations or packages, making a direct comparison more difficult.
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Old 28.05.2019, 16:29
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

Of course and this is something I have looked at and confirmed. Not asking for advice on my situation. Curious if other people do this on a long term basis and asking for anecdotes.
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Old 28.05.2019, 16:38
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

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Of course and this is something I have looked at and confirmed. Not asking for advice on my situation. Curious if other people do this on a long term basis and asking for anecdotes.
I should look into it as well!

They do pay for glasses bought in Italy.

Tom
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Old 28.05.2019, 17:10
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

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Yes, as I say this is not a problem. I have a high franchise anyway so will be paying out of pocket either way
The point is that if it is not something that your insurance company would normally pay, it will not count towards expiring your franchise. So if you do have a heavy expense of hospital visit you will end up paying for that as well.
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Old 28.05.2019, 17:27
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

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The point is that if it is not something that your insurance company would normally pay, it will not count towards expiring your franchise. So if you do have a heavy expense of hospital visit you will end up paying for that as well.
If the insurance wouldn’t normally pay for it then it wouldn’t count towards expiring his franchise wherever he bought them.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 28.05.2019 at 17:58.
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Old 28.05.2019, 17:37
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

There are two pharmacies in Divonne, the closest to us. Long queues and unfamiliar with different processes for non-EU residents. Some prescriptions are forbidden to non-French (such as insulin) due to ‘shortages’.

Mutuel Assurances told me that they would only reimburse a one-off claim.

Before you go phone them. That won’t solve the queues but you will know if they will dispense.
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Old 28.05.2019, 17:46
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

I had a prescription from Zurich which cost exactly the same in Germany & Malta, however 25% cheaper in France or the U.K. However Super Drug in the UK do private prescriptions at cost & were 80% cheaper in this case. It depends on exactly what the drug is.
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Old 17.06.2019, 11:39
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

Returning this thread to update with my experience.

I purchased my prescription over the border (France)recently while on a day trip.

In Switzerland (Vaud canton) my medication (very common and easily accessible prescription drug) is 87 francs for a month supply. From France it cost 13 euro.

Yes, of course, I know this purchase doesn't count towards my insurance franchise etc But this works best for me with my current situation, and Im just the sharing info in case people are interested.
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Old 18.06.2019, 13:38
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

I recently had to make a rushed trip to the UK and took insufficient blood pressure medication with me. It's a common medication (Losartan), but several UK pharmacies refused to fulfil the prescription (I had a copy with me) and insisted on having a prescription from a UK doctor. I really didn't want to waste half a day at a doctor's surgery and, knowing the average doctor, having to undergo an examination for a week's supply of Losartan.
Fortunately, Superdrug were helpful and supplied me, though I suspect not entirely legally. I had to slip the pharmacist a fiver, which I suspect didn't make it to the cash register.
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Old 19.06.2019, 19:46
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

Neither a Swiss pharmacist nor a French one in St-Gingolph would filll a prescription from my UK dentist. Both said it was a controlled drug. Easily filled it a few days later back in London. In UK it's Class C Sch 4.

I remarked to the French pharmacist that years ago when I had run out of statin and my NHS surgeon daughter accompanied me, he'd filled that. He retorted that he would have, it's an unremarkable drug. But I recall he did ask her for a warrant card which of course UK doctors don't have, she (a fluent French speaker) told him to look online, but he couldn't be bothered.

I could have gone to Italy where I know they wouldn't have minded, but it wasn't work the 47 francs tunnel toll, or the petrol, or the time. For less than that I could't have ordered from one of those dodgy UK online pharmacies that sell loose hospital-packaged drugs at egregious prices.
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Old 20.06.2019, 00:17
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Re: Buying prescription medication - local or over the border.

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I recently had to make a rushed trip to the UK and took insufficient blood pressure medication with me. It's a common medication (Losartan), but several UK pharmacies refused to fulfil the prescription (I had a copy with me) and insisted on having a prescription from a UK doctor. I really didn't want to waste half a day at a doctor's surgery and, knowing the average doctor, having to undergo an examination for a week's supply of Losartan.
Fortunately, Superdrug were helpful and supplied me, though I suspect not entirely legally. I had to slip the pharmacist a fiver, which I suspect didn't make it to the cash register.
Superdrug specialise in Private prescriptions at cost, so are very used to filling foreign prescriptions. Whilst UK is still EU they would have to fill EU/Swiss prescriptions in any case. However being an island border hopping happens less than in France, Germany Italy & CH
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