Can I obtain glasses in France with a UK prescription?

With prescriptions from outside the EU, it is up to the professional in France if they choose to accept it and there is no legal obligation

8 July 2021

Date of issue is also significant for acceptability of prescriptions in France Pic: Terelyuk / Shutterstock

Reader question: Now the UK has left the EU, would a UK eye prescription issued in 2021 be valid in France for spectacles, or must I make an appointment with an ophthalmologist here? I have only found information relating to 2020, before the end of the transition period.

You are correct that the end of the transition period raises issues over the validity of UK prescriptions.

A prescription issued in the EU must be accepted in France, both for medicines and medical devices such as glasses, unless it lacks important details or is illegible.

It must be dated and identify the patient and give details of the doctor, including contact information and specialism. Legally, all EU prescriptions must be reimbursed by the French Assurance Maladie.

With prescriptions from outside the EU, it is up to the professional in France if they choose to accept it and there is no legal obligation.

Optic 2000 opticians in Nice, Alpes- Maritimes, said they could deliver glasses with a non-EU prescription, but such a prescription would not be reimbursed by the French Assurance Maladie.

Date of issue is also significant for acceptability of prescriptions in France, but those for glasses last a long time: a year for under-16s, five for those aged 16-42, and three years for older people.

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