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Pharmacies In France (Expat Advice)

Pharmacies In France (Expat Advice)

Going to the pharmacy in France is essential for those requiring medication.

It’s important to understand the differences between French pharmacies and the rest of the world. This type of information is useful for travelers and/or expats who have not been living in France for a long time.

Since you can’t buy medicine on Amazon France, it’s essential to go to one of the local pharmacies when it’s time to get your hands on key medication.

If you are going to be traveling in Nice or Paris, you will want to have this information in hand.

Here is a detailed look at the pharmacies in France and how they work.

Understanding French Pharmacies

Limited Hours

This is one of the first things a person is going to be surprised by.

It’s common in other parts of the world for pharmacies to be open well into the night. This is due to the necessity of requiring medication as soon as you are feeling ill.

This is not the case in France.

The pharmacy is going to be open for limited hours. This is going to include early in the morning and then a few hours in the afternoon.

No Online Medicine

In other countries, you are often going to see the purchasing of medicine online through third-party providers.

This is not going to happen in France.

This is due to the pharmacies being set up to be the legitimate provider of medication in France.

If you are looking for medication, you are going to have to go to the pharmacy. Of course, there are online pharmacy options but you will have to go through the pharmacy itself. Anyone who is thinking about doing this is still going to go through several questions in France.

The pharmacy is required to ask these questions.

This is the only way they can push through the medication to you through an online order.

Medical Assistance

Yes, this is a major difference when you are walking into a French pharmacy.

You will be looking at a pharmacist who is not only there to provide medicine. They will be more than happy to work through your medical history and pinpoint what is necessary to bring you back to full health.

This is going to include offering advice related to specific medicines and your symptoms.

Free Of Cost

You are not going to be paying for medication as long as you are in the healthcare system.

This is key for those who are living in France.

You have to grab the medication and then you are good to go. The government is going to take care of the fees for you.

Pharmacies de Garde

This is a type of pharmacy that is open when the others are not.

They are only responsible for immediate cases when you are going to require the medication at that specific time whether it’s the weekend or a holiday.

These are specialized pharmacies that are going to be certified to run like this. It’s best to do a Google search to find the one that is in your area.

Small And Quiet

The first thing you are going to notice about a French pharmacy is going to be the setting. It is not going to be like what you would see in other countries such as Canada or the US.

In this case, you are going to be walking into a specific pharmacy that is going to be reserved for this type of service rather than offering additional items (i.e. food, accessories).

French pharmacies tend to be smaller and offer limited items including medicine. This is essential for those who might be thinking about buying additional items including food while going to get their medicine in France.

You are going to end up accessing items such as essential oils, beauty supplies, and supplements here. Nothing other than this is going to be sold alongside medicine.

This is due to French laws surrounding what can be sold in a pharmacy.

No Prescriptions

You are not going to be receiving a specialized bottle for your medicine.

This is often seen in other nations where you are going to get a customized bottle that is going to cite key details surrounding the medicine. This is not going to happen in France, where the information is going to be written separately.

You might also have to bring back additional medicine when you are done.

Owned By The Pharmacist

It’s important to note how the pharmacy ownership works.

In France, the pharmacist is going to be the owner of the pharmacy. They are the only ones who are allowed to own the pharmacy because they are not allowed to sell other items that might be seen in America.

As a result, the pharmacist needs to be qualified to own a pharmacy in France. This is going to require the docteur en Pharmacie diploma.

It is due to the pharmacist being allowed to provide medical advice in these pharmacies. It adds to the legitimacy of the process and you will know you are going to a legitimate service provider when it is time to get your medicine in France.

Over The Counter Medicine

Let’s assume you are thinking about getting traditional pain medication or “over-the-counter” medicine in France.

Where are you going to go?

You will have to go to a pharmacy in France.

Only the pharmacies in France are allowed to sell these medications. This is due to them having a specialist on-site who will help with the decision and can offer advice on the spot.

Final Thoughts

This is what you are going to need to know about pharmacies in France.

Expats will often wonder about these details and are going to want to make sure they are doing things the right way.

It’s important to be aware of this beforehand to ensure you are not running around in a panic when it’s time to get medicine in France.