Advice for Accessing Pharmacies and Medication in Germany

Pharmacies and Medication in Germany

Pharmacies in Germany, known as Apotheke, is the place to buy over the counter medicines and access prescription drugs. The Apotheke is easily found by the large red letter ‘A’ that is always displayed in the window.It is important that the Apotheke is not confused with the German drugstore, or Drogerie, as they do not sell or dispense medications; instead this type of store sells snacks and toiletries.

Opening Hours

Pharmacies in Germany have very social opening hours.

Weekdays 09:00-18:30
Weekends from 09:00-13:00

If you need to access a pharmacy in an emergency, then there should be one pharmacy in your locality that stays open 24 hours.

Health Insurance

As in other European countries, medication can either be bought over the counter or via a prescription, Rezept. Germany has a very strict law regarding the issuing of prescription drugs, and many medicines that can be bought over the counter in other countries can only be accessed if you have a prescription. If you do require basic analgesics such as ibuprofen, then these can be bought in all pharmacies in Germany.


Medication is very expensive in Germany, so if you are planning to travel to Germany it’s a good idea to take your own supply of non-prescription medications, such as cold remedies and basic pain killers. If you do require prescription drugs, then the cost of these will be covered by your health insurance, but they do not cover the cost of over the counter medicines.

B-Protected Germany is a health insurance provider who can help you. If you do need to buy over the counter medicines, then you can be reimbursed by your health insurance provider by retaining your receipts. To learn more about taking out health insurance please contact B-Protected Germany.

When in Germany – Helpful advice and information about finding and accessing pharmacies when you need over the counter medicines and prescription drugs.