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Medicine & Pharmacies in the Netherlands

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As with your general practitioner (GP), you will need to register with your local pharmacy (apotheek in Dutch).

Filling prescriptions

It is possible to fill prescriptions at other pharmacies, but registering a regular pharmacy (by giving them your contact details and health insurance information) provides several benefits.

Your GP may be able to email your prescription directly to the pharmacy, so you can simply pick up your medicine when you are ready. As they have a record of your prescription history, it gives the pharmacist the ability to check that you haven’t been prescribed conflicting medicines.

If this pharmacy is registered with your particular insurance scheme, you generally won't have to pay directly for the medicine (although that depends on the particular prescription and your policy).

Some pharmacies can deliver medications to your home free of charge, while others also offer secured pick-up boxes accessible with a key, so you can retrieve prescriptions after hours. Many GPs also have a message service where you can order repeats of on-going prescription medicine, which you can collect from your pharmacy the next day.

Pharmacies opening hours

Opening hours for pharmacies vary, but the address of the nearest out-of-hours pharmacy will be indicated on the door. Pharmacists are able to give advice for minor complaints, while drogists (like Kruidvat or Etos) sell over-the-counter medicine.

Some hospitals in the Netherlands have an onsite pharmacy where you can fill your prescription after you have been treated there, rather than going to your own pharmacy.

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