Can I use a UK doctor’s prescription in France?

We plan to be at our holiday home for a month. If I need a top-up of my regular prescription medicine – will my UK prescription be accepted?

29 April 2020

If you have a prescription from the UK for a medicine that you take regularly, you can present it to a French pharmacy.

‘Cross-border prescriptions’ are respected in the EU as long as they contain essential information including surname, first name, date of birth, prescription date and the doctor’s first name, surname, qualification, address and signature.

The standard name of the medicine should be given, not a brand, plus form of delivery, quantity and frequency. It is possible some medicines available in the UK will not exist in France.

You do not need to see a French doctor but if you visit one for a new prescription you can show your Ehic visitor’s card to pay the usual rate of a person insured in France and apply to a French health authority (Cpam) for a reimbursement to French rates.

British Ehics and cross-border flexibility for British prescriptions may no longer be available after the Brexit transition period, depending on the outcome of negotiations.

With cross-border prescriptions, you pay in full. In theory, you should be able to be refunded by the NHS if the medicine is free or subsidised in the UK, but the DWP’s overseas healthcare team (0191 218 1999) said most people pay for medicines in the UK. If in doubt, check with your UK doctor or NHS England (0300 311 22 33).

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