Until recently, buying a medicine prescribed by a doctor in Poland when travelling abroad was often difficult or even impossible. Thanks to the introduction of the cross-border e-prescription, Polish citizens are now able to use e-prescriptions in several EU and EFTA countries, and the list of territories is constantly growing.
What is cross-border e-prescription?
This is an electronic prescription that you can use in a country other than the one in which it was issued. Currently, patients residing in Finland, Portugal, Croatia, Estonia and Spain can use this prescription. Importantly, even if the medicine you want to buy is covered by reimbursement in Poland, you have to pay 100% of the price at a foreign pharmacy. However, you may be able to claim reimbursement of your expenses upon your return home. To do this, you need to submit a relevant application to the National Health Fund (NFZ). For more information on how to do this, click here: NFZ – reimbursement. Remember that with such prescriptions you have to buy all the medicines prescribed at the same time, as there is no possibility of partial purchase.
Cross-border e-prescriptions can be issued for adult patients. If you need a cross-border prescription for your child, your doctor has to issue it on paper.
What should a cross-border prescription contain?
A cross-border e-prescription can only be used if it is correctly issued. It needs to include the following data:
Personal and address details:
- given name(s) and last name of the person to whom it is issued
- date of birth
- prescriber’s details: given name(s) and last name, professional title, direct contact details
- address of the place of service provision: city, street name, building/unit number and country indication – “Poland”
Medicine or product information:
- common (international) name in case of a medicinal product or commercial (proper) name
- prescription issue date
Who can issue a cross-border e-prescription?
A cross-border prescription is issued the same way as an ordinary prescription and can therefore be issued by any doctor.
What medicines can I get a cross-border e-prescription for?
A doctor can issue a cross-border e-prescription for a specific catalogue of medicines. These can be drugs in the ‘Rp’ category – i.e. those prescribed by a doctor – or OTC drugs – those sold without a doctor’s prescription. This applies to both non-reimbursed and reimbursed medicines. It is not possible to issue such a prescription for:
- Psychotropic or narcotic drugs
- Magistral medicines
- Medicinal products in the ‘Rpz’ category, i.e. prescribed medicines for restricted use
- Foodstuffs for particular nutritional uses and medical devices.
What do I need to do to get a cross-border e-prescription?
If you want to use a prescription abroad all you need to do is to have an active Internet Patient Account (IKP) and, once logged in, enable e-prescriptions abroad. You can find detailed instructions here: pacjent.gov.pl – cross-border e-prescription.