Pharmacies in Spain

Prescription costs and treatment advice for many common illnesses

For minor ailments, many people go to their local pharmacy (farmacia), these are easily recognisable by the green flashing cross displayed outside or in the window.

Farmacias take turns to provide an out-of-hours service (at night and for holidays) as the farmacia de guardia. You will be able to find out which one is open in the window of any pharmacy, where they usually display a list of the ones that are open. You can also check the farmacias de guardia online here

Pharmacists in Spain are well-trained and will provide treatment advice for many common illnesses and ailments, but they are not a substitute for going to a doctor if there is something really wrong with you.

Spain is quite unrestrictive when it comes to the distribution of medications that are strictly prescription drugs in other countries, although according to the law, medication such as antibiotics must have a prescription. Medicine tends to cost significantly less than in other countries due to state-imposed price restrictions. Although it does vary throughout the country. In some places, you might get some generic medicine without a prescription, but it’s usually more expensive this way instead of getting it prescribed from a doctor. 

However, according to the Royal Decree-Law of 2019, anyone with an income greater than €18,000 a year should now pay half the cost of the medication. Those who make less than €18,000 will pay up to 40% and pensioners making less than this amount will need to pay 10%, with a maximum monthly payment of €8. 

Pensioners and those in receipt of state welfare with an income of less than €18,000 are free of all prescription payments. This includes children under 18 with 33% disabilities and adults over the age of 18 with over 65% disabilities.


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