Pharmacies and medication in the Netherlands
A chemist or drogist (drugstore) supplies non-prescription medications, general toiletries, cosmetics, condoms etc. An apotheek (pharmacy) is the only outlet for prescription drugs. Pharmacies also sell other items such as over-the-counter-medicines, vitamins, etc. and will provide advice on taking medication.
For students, the pharmacy is mostly relevant for vaccinations for travelling abroad, contraceptives and allergy medication.
Who pays for medication?
If you have basic health insurance in the Netherlands, standard rules apply to which medication is covered. Via this link (the website is in Dutch) you can check whether a particuler medication is covered by your insurance in full, in part, or not at all. Generally speaking the costs will only be covered if the medication was prescribed by your GP.
IN THE NETHERLANDS, THE AVERAGE PHARMACEUTICAL COSTS PER YEAR PER PERSON ARE MUCH BELOW THE EUROPEAN AVERAGE
If you don’t have a Dutch insurance policy, the following rule applies: If you have European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) the pharmacy will declare the costs of your medication directly with your insurance (even if it is not Dutch). You will not have to pay for them at the counter. Of course this only applies if you insurance actually covers the particular medication you need. If you do not have a EHIC, then you will have to pay at the counter, and send the bill to your insurance yourself.