Does anyone have any recommendations on where to obtain free medicines in Spain?


Me and the Mrs would love to move to the south of Spain but she is not sure what to do about the medications I have to take and how we would go about getting them over there as I’m 63 and don’t have to pay for them in the UK. Anyone know what we have to do and how to obtain free medicines in Spain?


These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“It depends on the meds. In some cases, you can take your prescription to the pharmacy and they’ll give you the equivalent. In other cases, you’ll need a prescription. This is only my experience with birth control pills so I can’t speak for other meds. As far as paying, it depends on your insurance. Some of them are covered by private insurance. Idk if the public system covers it (if you go that route) since I’ve never needed a prescription and I’m not currently on any meds. You could try shipping them but those import taxes are high”

“I asked for a copy of my prescription and extra meds before I left and got a Global Health Insurance Card, which replaces the European one we had before brexit. I showed this and my prescription to the pharmacy, they were able to give me my meds but I had to pay quite a lot for them (around £20-30 for them all). They said I couldn’t use the card and get cheaper meds unless I got a green prescription from the Spanish doctor, so I registered as a foreigner with the local health centre and managed to get a reduction to about 8-10 quid. This card is only supposed to be used short term and for holidays so when I applied for residency I got a health card which allows me to order repeat prescriptions and pay the same as the Spanish, which is only a couple of quid for everything. My situation is specific to Catalonia and the type of residency though as not all residency types give you state health care. As the others have said, you may need to take out private insurance if your residency doesn’t give you access to state health care. 

“Here is the drug list and pricing for March 2022. Most private health insurance companies do not provide Rx insurance, and the one’s that do are limited. You can use this list to see what your medications would cost if you had to pay for them yourself. Download the PDF, from March 2022 is the easiest way to get it.”

“You’ll need to take out comprehensive private medical insurance (like BUPA) as part of your visa requirement. You will also need to pay the list price for your meds until you become a state pensioner. Some drugs are surprisingly cheap; others are very dear. Some are available OTC but not all. For those you’ll need to get a prescription from a private doctor.”

“I read we can ask our doctor for a cross border rx and either visit a doc or pharmacy in spain for the equivalent.”

“Thank you for asking this question. I am an american citizen moving to bcn and wondering the same thing. I read we can ask our doctor for a cross border rx and either visit a doc or pharmacy in Spain for the equivalent. I plan to bring a 90 day supply but I’m curious how blood pressure meds are considered.”

Check out this other Question and answer blog post: What do you need to get prescription medicines refilled in Spain and how much do they cost?

In conclusion, Spainguru’s Facebook group members suggest that getting prescription medication refilled in Spain can be a bit of a challenge, but it is manageable. It is important to have a copy of your prescription and any extra meds before moving to Spain. You can take your prescription to the pharmacy and they will give you the equivalent medication. However, it is important to note that the cost of medication can vary depending on your health insurance. In some cases, you may need to pay for the medication yourself. If you are planning to move to Spain, it is best to research the cost of medication before you go, and to plan accordingly. It is also recommended to take out comprehensive private medical insurance as part of your visa requirement. It is also advisable to ask your doctor for a cross-border prescription and either visit a doctor or pharmacy in Spain for the equivalent. Remember to be prepared and bring a 90-day supply of medication and be aware of the laws and regulations for importing drugs.

Useful links: