Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Family matters/health  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 15.10.2020, 01:13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Zurich
Posts: 9
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
AdlerMN has no particular reputation at present
Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Hello everyone, I am new in the Switzerland so I learn the life here day by day. I have some minor health problems and need sometimes some OTCs. Here is my question; is there any limitation for over the counter drugs and supplements buying from Germany or France. Is it allowed? And is there a regulation about buying medicines (w/wo prescription) from neighbor countries?
Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 15.10.2020, 01:34
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Tessin
Posts: 21
Groaned at 8 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 14 Times in 7 Posts
kxfnn has earned some respectkxfnn has earned some respect
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

See https://www.swissmedic.ch/swissmedic...-internet.html

> Private individuals (including tourists) may import a month's supply of medicines into Switzerland for their own use but not for third parties.
However, if a medicine is classified as a narcotic , it may only be imported or exported by travellers who are ill , (in accordance with Art.41 para.1 BetmKV).
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank kxfnn for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 15.10.2020, 01:45
Island Monkey's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wallis
Posts: 4,781
Groaned at 81 Times in 48 Posts
Thanked 4,845 Times in 2,276 Posts
Island Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

I always buy a ton of paracetamol, lemsip, antihistamines etc when back in the U.K. just Chuck them in my luggage. Never had an issue..... obviously also never declared them!
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Island Monkey for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 15.10.2020, 01:50
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Basel
Posts: 2,016
Groaned at 48 Times in 39 Posts
Thanked 1,207 Times in 724 Posts
Landers has an excellent reputationLanders has an excellent reputationLanders has an excellent reputationLanders has an excellent reputation
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Over-the-counter in one country might not be OTC in another but yes you can buy them from Germany or France although there may well be a limitation in terms of quantity in any one purchase (in which case you can go to another pharmacy and buy again)

Prices of some common OTC drugs can be ridiculous in Switzerland compared to other countries.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Landers for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 15.10.2020, 08:06
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Nyon
Posts: 3,777
Groaned at 178 Times in 133 Posts
Thanked 4,984 Times in 2,370 Posts
bowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

If France there are some products that must be dispensed by a phaamnacist and are not available to people not in the French health system.

I have heard of some issues bringing in large boxes if ibuprofen and paracetamol. But these are not available in the EU or UK.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 15.10.2020, 09:50
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 29,614
Groaned at 2,091 Times in 1,560 Posts
Thanked 35,384 Times in 16,778 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

You are allowed a 30 day supply.

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 15.10.2020, 09:59
TonyClifton's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Hopefully soon to be Aargau
Posts: 918
Groaned at 347 Times in 211 Posts
Thanked 2,141 Times in 1,027 Posts
TonyClifton has a reputation beyond reputeTonyClifton has a reputation beyond reputeTonyClifton has a reputation beyond reputeTonyClifton has a reputation beyond reputeTonyClifton has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Quote:
View Post
I always buy a ton of paracetamol, lemsip, antihistamines etc when back in the U.K. just Chuck them in my luggage. Never had an issue..... obviously also never declared them!
Same here. 50p a packet verses 16chf plus a prescription!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 15.10.2020, 11:55
newtoswitz's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rapperswil
Posts: 3,031
Groaned at 50 Times in 47 Posts
Thanked 3,582 Times in 1,635 Posts
newtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Quote:
View Post
You are allowed a 30 day supply.

Tom
Which is a surprisingly high amount for adhoc items - e.g. paracetamol 8 tablets a day = 240 tablets = 7 packets of 32

And annoyingly low for daily dose stuff like hayfever tablets.

But tbh I don't think they're going to do much about me bringing over a six month supply of antihistamine tablets.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank newtoswitz for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 15.10.2020, 18:14
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Zurich
Posts: 9
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
AdlerMN has no particular reputation at present
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Thank you very much for answers
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 16.10.2020, 16:26
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 8,134
Groaned at 385 Times in 293 Posts
Thanked 10,568 Times in 5,578 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Quote:
View Post
You are allowed a 30 day supply.

Tom
I would think that only applies to pharmaceuticals that, while they have no domestic approval, have been approved by a foreign (trusted) authority like the US FDA or its EU equivalent. This automatically excludes OTC drugs as they must have been approved to have OTC status. Mind post #4 above by Landers.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 16.10.2020, 16:54
Ace1's Avatar
A modal singularity
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Morgins, VS (and Alsace)
Posts: 8,690
Groaned at 351 Times in 224 Posts
Thanked 14,691 Times in 6,393 Posts
Ace1 has a reputation beyond reputeAce1 has a reputation beyond reputeAce1 has a reputation beyond reputeAce1 has a reputation beyond reputeAce1 has a reputation beyond reputeAce1 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Quote:
View Post
Quote:
View Post
You are allowed a 30 day supply.
I would think that only applies to pharmaceuticals that, while they have no domestic approval, have been approved by a foreign (trusted) authority like the US FDA or its EU equivalent. This automatically excludes OTC drugs as they must have been approved to have OTC status. Mind post #4 above by Landers.
Not so. In the previously linked page the "medicines" to which the 30-day supply applies is not defined, so would include prescription and OTC products, regardless of their status within CH.

It's also been pointed out already that many people do indeed bring back much larger quantities of some OTC drugs, particularly from the US where a 1000 * 200mg bottle of Ibuprofen will set you back around 20-odd dollars. I've often done so, without worrying too much about the technicality, assuming, perhaps wrongly, that the worst that would happen would be confiscation of said bottle.
__________________
http://www.chaletbeauroc.com
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Ace1 for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 16.10.2020, 17:31
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Basel
Posts: 2,016
Groaned at 48 Times in 39 Posts
Thanked 1,207 Times in 724 Posts
Landers has an excellent reputationLanders has an excellent reputationLanders has an excellent reputationLanders has an excellent reputation
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Quote:
View Post
I would think that only applies to pharmaceuticals that, while they have no domestic approval, have been approved by a foreign (trusted) authority like the US FDA or its EU equivalent. This automatically excludes OTC drugs as they must have been approved to have OTC status. Mind post #4 above by Landers.



My point was just because a drug might be OTC in one country, doesn't necessarily mean it's available OTC in another. e.g. You might take a trip to Germany to find you can't buy it there. Usually though it's the other way around - you can find things in OTC in Germany that aren't OTC in Switzerland.


30 day supply is likely to be to avoid black market sales, stockpiling, and to direct Swiss residents towards the Swiss health system.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 17.10.2020, 02:19
oferet's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Basel
Posts: 201
Groaned at 5 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 155 Times in 69 Posts
oferet has earned the respect of manyoferet has earned the respect of manyoferet has earned the respect of many
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Just a little tip:
antihistamines (I use Cetirizin) are OTC in Germany and not OTC in Switzerland.
I save myself a lot of headache by going across the border and getting a couple of 100 tablet packets.
The saving is first of all for all those doctor visits, in order to get the prescriptions (My doctor gives this only for a short duration, so many appointments are needed to maintain continuous supply). It's also the price of the medication itself.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 17.10.2020, 10:27
newtoswitz's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rapperswil
Posts: 3,031
Groaned at 50 Times in 47 Posts
Thanked 3,582 Times in 1,635 Posts
newtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Quote:
View Post
I've often done so, without worrying too much about the technicality, assuming, perhaps wrongly, that the worst that would happen would be confiscation of said bottle.
I imagine (with no evidence) that this depends on the drug.

I would not take a chance with anything containing opioids or stimulants which are known to be misused as street drugs.

But I'd be fairly comfortable giving a surprised "Really? Sorry I didn't know that" with basic painkillers, allergy tablet etc.

(Until I read this the surprise would have been genuine, I thought the rule was a generic "reasonable personal use" thing )
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 17.10.2020, 10:34
Island Monkey's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wallis
Posts: 4,781
Groaned at 81 Times in 48 Posts
Thanked 4,845 Times in 2,276 Posts
Island Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Quote:
View Post
Just a little tip:
antihistamines (I use Cetirizin) are OTC in Germany and not OTC in Switzerland.
I save myself a lot of headache by going across the border and getting a couple of 100 tablet packets.
The saving is first of all for all those doctor visits, in order to get the prescriptions (My doctor gives this only for a short duration, so many appointments are needed to maintain continuous supply). It's also the price of the medication itself.
I’ve bought Anti-histamines OTC in Switzerland. Maybe it depends exactly what you want. I just asked for Anti-Histamines, not a specific drug.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 17.10.2020, 11:02
newtoswitz's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rapperswil
Posts: 3,031
Groaned at 50 Times in 47 Posts
Thanked 3,582 Times in 1,635 Posts
newtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Quote:
View Post
I’ve bought Anti-histamines OTC in Switzerland. Maybe it depends exactly what you want. I just asked for Anti-Histamines, not a specific drug.
Did you actually get an anti-histamine, or some sort of herbal remedy which claims to have anti-allergy properties?

Checking briefly online pharmacies seems to show all the usual anti-histamines (cetirizine, loratidine etc) as being prescription only, but then the next 500 options (!) are herbal stuff.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 17.10.2020, 11:14
Belgianmum's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Neuchâtel
Posts: 12,023
Groaned at 198 Times in 175 Posts
Thanked 19,259 Times in 8,007 Posts
Belgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Quote:
View Post
Did you actually get an anti-histamine, or some sort of herbal remedy which claims to have anti-allergy properties?

Checking briefly online pharmacies seems to show all the usual anti-histamines (cetirizine, loratidine etc) as being prescription only, but then the next 500 options (!) are herbal stuff.
There are plenty of anti-histamines available OTC in Switzerland.
Cetirizine is one of them and I’m pretty sure loratidine is too.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 17.10.2020, 11:36
Ace1's Avatar
A modal singularity
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Morgins, VS (and Alsace)
Posts: 8,690
Groaned at 351 Times in 224 Posts
Thanked 14,691 Times in 6,393 Posts
Ace1 has a reputation beyond reputeAce1 has a reputation beyond reputeAce1 has a reputation beyond reputeAce1 has a reputation beyond reputeAce1 has a reputation beyond reputeAce1 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Buying over the counter drugs abroad

Quote:
View Post
I imagine (with no evidence) that this depends on the drug.

I would not take a chance with anything containing opioids or stimulants which are known to be misused as street drugs.
If you read the linked page, you'll see there are specific rules covering "narcotics" and "muscle-building" drugs, i.e. steroids. For any other prescription drug the importation limit is the same, but clearly you need to have a valid prescription for them.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
buy, drug, germany, medicine, prescription




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Buying a car abroad dmilush Permits/visas/government 20 11.07.2016 15:13
"Over the counter" drugs and franchise? John_H Insurance 8 28.05.2013 13:03
Over-the-Counter vs Prescription drugs? Whats the Difference in Switzerland? Javo Insurance 38 26.12.2012 14:04
Buying a car from abroad hayleyjay1 Transportation/driving 16 27.04.2012 17:05
Buying prescription drugs across the Basel border randu Family matters/health 3 23.07.2011 19:13


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 17:43.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0