Please sign in to post.

Prescription drug refill

I am currently in Reims. Through unusual circumstances my husband has come up short for his
Metformin - diabetes - medication. We have the prescription container with all the info. Can I just go to a pharmacy and ask for a small number of pills? Any suggestions. Thanks

Posted by
23432 posts

No, you can try but most likely you will need a local Rx. The pharmacy can direct you to an appropriate clinic or doctor so start there. Should be fairly easy.

Posted by
11392 posts

You can go to a pharmacy and ask, but may get turned down. Certainly will not hurt to ask. The pharmacist may be able to refer you to a clinic of some sort where a local MD could write an Rx the pharmacy can honor.

How short is the supply? Have you run out? If just a few days short, perhaps split the remaining pills in half and be more careful with diet to minimize the adverse affect and not go 'cold turkey' until you get home?

Posted by
95 posts

Thanks for the replies. I expected that we would have to see a doctor. We have a few days supply and can cut back on dosage. We go to Paris on Saturday so I think we should be able to find a doctor there to help us.

Posted by
9106 posts

Another resource is to check with credit card or travel insurance companies. They often have an "emergency prescription refill" benefit. I haven't actually used this so I don't know how useful it is in reality, but it's something you might want to check out.

Posted by
2577 posts

You´re unfortunately receiving some inaccurate information. A pharmacists can certainly refill your prescription in most cases. Pharmacists in France can even prescribe many medicines.

If you must make an appointment with a physician, the pharmacist can even help you with that.

Posted by
8173 posts

Tocard is right. We have several times had prescriptions given by pharmacists. My husband forgot his statins; I spilled a bottle of thyroid pills and couldn't retrieve them all and needed a dozen for the end of a trip. Now neither of these is a drug that is prone to abuse, but then neither is metformin. I would go to a pharmacist and explain the situation; most pharmacies have someone who speaks English. If not try another pharmacy and one near the center; they are all over the place. They can probably provide the meds without a prescription; if not they will be able to direct you to a doctor to get it taken care of.

Posted by
12172 posts

I would always start at a pharmacy. Pharmacists in France provide more range of services than here including recommending the appropriate medicine. If they give you any medicine, you will definitely need your passport, so take that with you.

Posted by
891 posts

And please let us know how it turns out. It may help another traveler.

Good luck and hope your husband does fine.

Mimi

Posted by
4010 posts

Thanks for the replies. I expected that we would have to see a doctor.
We have a few days supply and can cut back on dosage. We go to Paris
on Saturday so I think we should be able to find a doctor there to
help us.

Please don't cut back on dosage arbitrarily; it bothers me to read that as I know how high blood sugar readings can rise if full dosage of meds is compromised. I'm a diabetic and take Metformin. Follow the advice above and get a new prescription. Metformin is inexpensive.

Posted by
95 posts

Thanks again. The forum community always comes through. We will try a pharmacy in Reims tomorrow. If no luck we will try in Paris. If required we will find a doctor.

Posted by
8173 posts

I have had prescriptions filled in France as well as having pharmacists give me prescription meds without prescription; I have never had to present a passport. It is a good idea to have one when doing serious business but in my experience it wasn't needed.

Posted by
95 posts

Success - we went into a large pharmacy on a main street in Reims this morning. We had the container with the prescription info, including the DIN and the address and contact info for my husband's doctor. We spoke to a pharmacist who spoke English and she quickly reviewed my husband's dosage and provided us with a 30 day supply of Metformin.. For a grand total of 3Euros!!!
Thank you again to all the members of the forum who offered good advice and support.
Now on to Paris

Posted by
3521 posts

Thanks for reporting back on your success. Something the rest of us can keep in mind if we run into a similar situation.

Posted by
473 posts

The joys of European health care. As my premiums rise every year 😔

Posted by
4010 posts

We had the opposite experience. Our premiums this year plummeted (Feb 1, 2018 - Jan 31, 2019) while our benefits improved substantially. This was a first and it was especially welcome as I had to endure a total hysterectomy.

Success - we went into a large pharmacy on a main street in Reims this
morning. We had the container with the prescription info, including
the DIN and the address and contact info for my husband's doctor. We
spoke to a pharmacist who spoke English and she quickly reviewed my
husband's dosage and provided us with a 30 day supply of Metformin..
For a grand total of 3Euros!!!

Fantastic!! Meformin is so cheap and what a great thing that is.

Posted by
14580 posts

If France is like Germany with regards to prescription meds, you will be referred to a doc to get a prescription from him before the pharmacist will fill it. I only have experience with prescription meds in Germany. That was last June in Berlin when I discovered for in a moment of panic that I had miscounted the number of this prescription med to last me for the duration of the trip, ie miscounted by 30 pills or so. The proprietor of the Pension said my reasons for the momentary panic were groundless. She was right.

This was Sat. morning, so I went to a pharmacy down the block from the Pension, showed the pharmacist the original container I get from Kaiser. She realised immediately the med was one that required a doc's prescription and told me she could not sell me any tablets unless I had German doc's written prescription. OK, where would I go and discuss my situation with the German doc.

Luckily, there was a clinic down the block and around the corner. so I saw a Gen. Practitioner, checked in with doc's assistant, who was only interested if I was a tourist or lived in Germany, wasn't interested in seeing my passport or Kaiser Permanente card. In the end she took a quick perfunctory look at the passport. Most importantly, this assistant told me that I had to pay for the visit with the doc in cash...no credit card accepted at all., which was exactly what the pharmacist said too when it cam time for me to pay for the pills, ie only cash.....I told her no problem.

The talk with doc lasted ca 15 mins , maybe less. He wrote the prescription, I paid the assistant, had to sign a paper all in German, took the prescription back to the pharmacist, picked up the pills 2 days later, paid the cash. I have three documents (receipts) proving all this.

I was lucky in that the clinic was close by. When I went in, I just picked a doc on the list who was on duty (this was Sat morning and the clinic closes at noon.) and was a General Practitoner.

Actually, none of the three was really interested in seeing my Passport, none asked if I had med insurance in Calif.

Posted by
7659 posts

Success - we went into a large pharmacy on a main street in Reims this morning. We had the container with the prescription info, including the DIN and the address and contact info for my husband's doctor.

Worth noting that this is a very good example of why you want to have prescriptions in the original container, or at least a copy of the prescription for those meds you can not do without. See other posts on that topic.