Guide to pharmacies in Spain

Guide to pharmacies in Spain

2022-01-28 18:46:35

Getting to know Spanish pharmacies can make your life in Spain much easier. You can find pharmacies in nearly any neighborhood. They are easy to be spotted even from the distance with a “+” sign. In this article, we will cover the most important features of pharmacies in Spain.

1. What are Spanish pharmacies like?

  • In Spain, generally, the cross sign of pharmacies is a green light. But sometimes the color could be changed. For example, in Cataluña, some pharmacies use red-lighted ¨cross¨.
  • Inside pharmacies, you can easily see medicines, vitamins, and even beauty products.
  • There will be several pharmacists in a pharmacy to support the purchasing process. They are trained professionals who give reliable recommendations. They might recommend medicine or suggest seeing the doctor if they cannot handle the case.
  • Some Spanish pharmacies are open 24/7. But most of them are open from 9:30 to 14:00 and then reopen from 17:00 to 21:30 on weekdays. And on Saturday they are open only from 9:30-14:00.
  • If you live in a tourist area or neighborhood famous for its internationalization, then maybe the pharmacists can speak English. If not, you might need to talk with them in Spanish. Make sure that at least you know some survival Spanish phrases.

2. How do Spanish pharmacies work?

  • For common illnesses, you can go directly to the nearest pharmacy. Ask for the medicine you want or describe your symptoms and get advice.
  • For some medicine, you might need a prescription. In that case, you need to book an appointment with a doctor using your insurance coverage. Get their advice or approval to buy a specific medicine. With our medical insurance, you can easily get an early appointment, get the prescription and buy the medicines you require as soon as possible. This medical insurance option is also known as expat insurance or visa insurance, as it fulfills all the requirements of Spanish visa applications.
Receta médica ( example of a simple prescription in Spain)

3. The differences between “Farmacia” and “Parafarmacia”

In Spain, you will see many “Farmacias” as well as “Parafarmacias”. What are the differences between these two?

  • “Farmacias” are the pharmacies mentioned above, from where you can buy medicines, health & wellness related-products, and even beauty products (usually from a brand that uses safer ingredients or medical technology). And you will get purchasing support from licensed pharmacists.
  • “Parafarmacias” don’t sell medicines. And the salespeople might not be licensed pharmacists. You might even encounter parafarmacias in perfumery chains such as primor and sephora.

Our contents will be updated according to the most recent legislation. Last update: 28/01/2022

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