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Insulin Availability

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Sydney, New South...
posts: 35
reviews: 9
Insulin Availability


I will be backpacking through Europe for a few months and will have to buy more Novorapid insulin along the way. I was wondering if you need a prescription to buy insulin in the Netherlands and how much it costs?


Amsterdam, The...
posts: 711
reviews: 39
1. Re: Insulin Availability


Yes in order to obtain Novorapid you need to have a prescription. This website informs you about the prices for medication in the Netherlands: http://www.medicijnkosten.nl/.

If I fill in your medication it says that it costs between 6 and 8 euro for this quantity: 100E/ML

Amsterdam, The...
posts: 711
reviews: 39
2. Re: Insulin Availability

In the Netherlands it's possible that when you have a prescription for a certain medicine the pharmacy might give you another medicine from a different supplier but with the same pharmacologically active substance, because that medicine is cheaper for the Insurance. Since you have to pay instead of your Insurance you decide with medicine you prefer, but it might be smart to call the pharmacy and ask if they have it. There is also a pharmacy at Schiphol Airport:

Apotheek Schiphol Plaza

T 020-6535187

F 020-6530825

E info@apotheekschipholplaza.com

You've probably dealed with this before, but I don't know how it works if you bring a foreign prescription to the pharmacy, maybe you need to check this as well??

Amsterdam, The...
posts: 3,976
reviews: 34
3. Re: Insulin Availability

The question intrigued me so I did a bit of Googling. I have come upon this text on the websites of many pharmacies which are not related to each other. Seeing that the text is identical on a page of sort FAQs which is identical from pharmacy to pharmacy, I would say this is standard information from the powers that be. Translation follows the Dutch. Given what's stated, if you don't have specific experience to the contrary then I would encourage you to consider investigating real well what your options and possibilities are from country to country given how crucial I assume the insulin is for your well-being and health.

"Buitenlandse recepten

Deze apotheek handelt geen buitenlandse recepten af via de website. Als u zich in Nederland bevindt, dan raden wij u aan om eerst naar een Nederlandse arts te gaan en dan bij ons langs te komen."

Foreign prescriptions

This pharmacy does not process any foreign prescriptions via the website. If you find yourself in the Netherlands, then we advise you to first go to a Dutch doctor and then come see us.

Edited: 11:09 am, March 23, 2014
Amsterdam, The...
posts: 3,976
reviews: 34
4. Re: Insulin Availability


After some further Googling, I have come across some other information that might be of interest.

On a website with general hospital related information (ziekenhuis.nl; ziekenhuis = hospital) there is a Q & A from someone asking if they can get medicine with a prescription from Turkey. The answer was:

"Mycobutin heeft in Nederland officeel de UR status. Dat wil zeggen dat dit medicijn alleen afgeleverd mag worden op recept. Ook buitenlandse recepten zijn tegenwoordig rechtsgeldig in Nederland, en hierop kan mycobutin worden afgeleverd."

Mycobutin has the official status in the Netherlands of UR. That means that this medicine can only be supplied with a prescription. Foreign prescriptions are currently legal in the Netherlands, and mycobutin can be supplied on that prescription.

On other websites for EU citizens there is also mention that a prescription from one country can be used in other member states. It is unclear if this only applies to prescriptions from other EU countries or not.

From one of those websites:

"Vanaf 25 oktober 2013 kunt u vragen om een internationaal voorschrift/recept dat bedoeld is voor gebruik in een ander EU-land. Zo'n voorschrift, ook wel grensoverschrijdend recept genoemd, is zo opgesteld dat het voor de apotheker duidelijk is wat de naam, werkzame stof en dosering van het geneesmiddel is."

From October 25, 2013, you can ask for an international prescription that is intended for use in another EU country. Such a prescription, also called a cross-border prescription, is written in a way that its for the pharmacist clear what the name, active ingredient and dosage of the medicine is.

From what I can gather, this arrangement is for EU residents in another EU country other than their country of residence. Although the Turkish example above seems to indicate otherwise.

Based on this I would ask your doctor if he knows of any arrangement involving an international prescription. Another option might be to take a prescription and letter from your doctor that outlines what your needs are and to go with that to a doctor at your first stop in the EU and get an international prescription from that EU doctor. Of course, you could take this info and first go into a pharmacy, give it a try and see if they won't just fill the prescription for you.

Edited: 11:59 am, March 23, 2014
Sydney, New South...
posts: 35
reviews: 9
5. Re: Insulin Availability

Thanks very much!

posts: 13
reviews: 1
6. Re: Insulin Availability

Another option is to bring insulin with you on your plane. Our daughter has Type One and has traveled both in Europe and Africa for extended periods (months) Prior to departure she gotten a letter from her Endocrinologist stating that vials of insulin and other supplies including back-up syringes would need to be in a carryon lest they freeze in regular luggage. With said letter in hand, there was never an issue with TSA

Destination Expert
for Helsinki
posts: 1,345
reviews: 6
7. Re: Insulin Availability

I know that the Finnish (European?) standard units of insulin are different from the US ones. I've no clue what units you have in the Aussies, but check your facts there too. Perhaps you could contact the Dutch Diabetes Assiciation (I'm sure there's something alike) for correct facts?

8. Re: Insulin Availability

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