Both Germany & the USA have pharmacies...but they're not the same!! Looking at the differences and pros & cons of each country's way of doing it.
At the Doctor’s Office: Differences in GERMANY & USA: https://youtu.be/wJ8ORw-6l5k
Tips For Tourists in USA! with Don't Trust The Rabbit: https://youtu.be/tHwTHmsj-U8
So my question for you is: What’s been your experience at pharmacies around the world? And which pharmacy style do you prefer?
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in germany, you have to study to be able to be pharmacyst. Usually you go to medical school and then somewhere in the middle, you go for pharmacy instead of continueing with normal medical school. And not like in USA, some random guy behind a counter. And you are not allowed to do this job, if you are not German Citizen! But i heard, they are gonna change this, since there isn´t a lot young people in germany interested in that job.
While I much prefer going to the doctor in Europe, I HATE (all capital letters) the pharmacy experience in Europe. Not only is it difficult to get medicines, but they are stupidly overpriced (10 Euro for Artic Ice muscle cream (this would be about $3 at Walmart in the US), 10 Euro for Aloe Vera, 20 Franks for foot cream, 15 euro for 30 ibuprofen (for $7 I could buy 500 in the US), 15 euro for 15 Lotradine (and I am pretty sure you have to have a perscription in Germany), and you cannot even find Sudafed). I just stock up on pills, creams and anything else I can think of before coming to Europe because I know it will be almost impossible for me to get it in Germany / Austria / Switzerland, and it will be crazy-expensive
I guess many people, also in Germany, underestimate the people working in a German Apotheke. They are highly educated and most often also have university diploma in pharmacy. That's a big difference to the general drugstore in the US. In addition to that the whole system of advertising and selling medicine is different as well as calling in sick at work. I have never in my life seen as many TV-ads for really strong medicine as in those times being in the US. Of course there are ads for Aspirin or Ibuprofen-based painkillers on TV as well, but never those kind of "ask your doctor for Blabla" with then 30 secs of listing severe side effects... When you are ill, let's take a cold for example, in Germany and you visit the doctor, you will most probably be advised to go to bed, have some tea and take some mild medicines supporting your immune system and maybe painkillers if necessary. And it works, because when you are ill and bring an attestation from your doctor to work, you can stay at home for a few days without having to worry about your income or job. So the drugstores and the way medicine is being sold (and (ab)used) can't be compared directly without having a look at the whole concept of being ill in the US vs. in Germany. (Maybe a new video on that ;))
Well actually, while pharmacists dont know everything, they usually should have a genereal gist when different medicines interact in a way you dont want them to interact.
In my case i go to the same pharmacist most of the time and he knows what medicine im taking on a regular basis.
So now the problem arises, not everyone reads every patient information leaflet.
And thats the exact reason it is handled like this in germany.
So you get prescription a from doctor A and then you go to another doctor, lets call him doctor B, and he gives you the prescription b (assume you suffer from more than one illness, where have different specialists for the corresponding disease)
and then you also buy a prescription free medicine like ibuprofen or something.
Then the pharmacist can(hopefully) tell you: "I wouldnt take medicine a and medicine b together, cause they negatively influence each other" or "While taking medicine a, you shouldnt take the prescription free medicine as it neglects the effect" and so on.
So in general pharmacists should act as a corrective factor for known interferences between medications, or rather they are there to prevent people from those negative interactions.
Here in USA I learned that pharmacists are _always_ the best source for drug info and alternative meds.
Scary but true: American doctors get their drug education from the manufacturer’s rep, period. The person who wants you to prescribe a new drug tells you what it does and how and gives you samples and cute office supplies.
der einfache grund warum man nicht sehen kann was die apotheke hat ist weil so verhindert man das irgendjemand weiss was se alles haben einbrüche so wegen nicht wissen unnötig.
der grund warum wir so streng mit medikamenten sind ist einfach medikamenten missbrauch zu verhindern.
ich glaube auch nicht das man in amerika die medikamente die man in deutschland nur in der apotheke findet einfach überall kaufen kann lool wäre nähmlich ziemlich unverantwortlich.
normale medikamente die nicht stark sind kann man auch hier in jedem grösseren supermarkt kaufen. die wo gefährlich werden könnten und die wo stärker sind natürlich nur in der apotheke. die stärksten und gleichzeitig auch gefährlichsten medikamente gibts nur auf rezept vom artzt logischerweise muss man zuvor zum artzt gehen immer wäre auch sehr unproffesionell wenn der doctor einfach in der apotheke anruft und was hinterlegt damit man es abholen kann obwohl er dich net ma gesehen hat und nichtma weiss ob du solche medikamente überhaupt brauchst.
Also prescription medicines in Germany aren't labelled with instructions. You get given verbal instructions by the pharmacy staff or they scribble something on the box. I'm in the UK and everything is labelled with instructions and specific warnings as well as the name and address of the pharmacy in case of dispensing errors.
Very similar to my country except vitamins are only sold at the pharmacy and only pharmacy( not drugstore), even acetaminophen, dramamine, aspirin, etc, are sold with prescription only. And doctor don't communicate with the pharmacy at all, they just give you the prescription and put a seal/stamp on it which only they have and makes official.
You forgot to mention one big difference when filling a prescription. In the US you will have to wait for a least 10 - 15 min for your medicine when dropping off a prescription. In Germany, you will get it right away if it is in stock.
I see the pros to European style pharmacies, but when you need something as a foreigner who doesn't speak their language well if at all it makes things hard. I got dermatitis that I at first thought was some kind of insect bite while on vacation in Spain, and had a hard time communicating to the pharmacist that I wanted a generic anti itch cream.
If you're referring to sudafed etc. (used in meth production) that's all behind the pharmacy counter and isn't on the shelves. You also have to have your ID scanned into a database so you have your purchases tracked and you can't buy a box at one place, then go to 10 more stores and buy more the same day.
So how does "always see a dr to get a new prescription" work for long term meds? I have several chronic conditions, and I've been taking meds for them for 20+ years (like your allergy ones, I guess). When you go to the dr, do you just get a prescription for one month, so you have to go back every month when nothing has changed?? Or can you fill more than one month at a time?
If you want to browse through everything that's available (prescription-free) you can always use one of the many online pharmacies. You can also buy your stuff there; most of the time it's way cheaper than in a physical pharmacy.
In Erding I had a problem with acid reflux. ( Too much pork fat) And visited the pharmacy. The pharmacist's English was poor and my schoolboy German, even poorer. We finally communicated in French.( My French is pretty much 18th Century French they use in Louisiana still, but it was enough) In the end, wound up with Prilosec. ( The German brand) Was sort of a "different" experience.
Somewhere I read that in the USA more people die from Aspirine than from crime.
So, yes, it makes sense to force people to get consultancy from a competent person at least for every drug that can potentially harm you, like e.g. Aspirine.
Mostly I prefer the German system, but what I personally find VERY annoying is that as someone that is
chronically ill you have to run to the doctor to get your prescription every time you need a refill. I‘m at the doctor picking up my prescription every 2 months for my asthma.
The North American style LETS YOU choose, which is better price wise and selection wise. The Germany way is a lot slower. For basic pain relief North America is easier. Antibiotics are serious and should ONLY be behind the counter with a prescription.
In the UK pharmacies often pickup printed prescriptions from local family doctors every day or two. The surgery records which pharmacy is your preferred/regular location & sorts scripts for the pharmacies to pickup. The pharmacy then has time to prepare & pack them for collection/delivery. Great for people with regular prescriptions or when I've emailed a repeat prescription request to my doctor a few days before I run out.
Also in the UK for the last couple of years or so there are electronic prescriptions, a kind of closed email system just for sending prescriptions from doctors to pharmacies. The pharmacy prints the prescription & fulfils it for collection, can be ready in 15 minutes or so. It is imperfect as if the pharmacyy is busy they may not look for those emailed prescriptions until you call in & ask. Very handy for me recently, had a blood test & family doctor phoned a couple of days later to give me results & tell me she was sending an electronic prescription to my local pharmacy.
I used to take my meds with a cup of cocoa until a pharmacist at the refill told me: "and of course no milk before and after, preferably no food at all for an hour, always at the same time" ... the doctor didn't tell me any of this. The pharmacist was shocked. She then very kindly explained to me why these meds needed this diet and it made so much sense, which changed my behavior.
I also got tons of help when I have any kind of (non-threatening) trouble with my infant and it was very reassuring to have a trained, highly educated professional recommend options.
Once I know what works, I kind of prefer buying without human interaction though...
Hello Dana! You failed to mention one thing that would explain too why the pharmacists have so much more time to talk with their customers. When you take an Rx in to get filled, the pharmacists do NOT have to pull out a large bottle and count a particular amount of tablets, all they do is take the prescription you brought in and pull the item off of a shelf or drawer and hand it to you after you paid of course. A filled Rx looks like an over the counter package. No plastic bottles with your name and doctor name mentioned on them. A real time saver too. You can go in and get out in less than 10 min. Enjoyed your video greatly! Keep up the good work!
My Standard Pharmacy is alsways kind. They tell me all the options, explain how they are different and flat out tell me if the generic version is the same as the more expensive one, or why not.
Also they always look up what my insurance would pay and what not.
I always feel like I got really good service and paid just as much as I needed to.
I would not want to miss that and stand in front of the options in the grocery store, all sick and worked up, not knowing what wil help me.
I kind of ove being born in Germany. Even though most Germans are not very proud of Germany, I am happy about our countries archivements and feel lucky about being German.
German Pharmacy is like Greek Pharmacy. Because many don't have the knowledge to pick up there non prescription drugs and because many (in Greece at least) take aspirin for everything (like a simple cold) there must be a specialist that they can discribe there simptoms and take the correct drug. Also EU prices of meds aren't like USA they have to charge a specific price for a similar product (in Greece for example all aspitins have about the same price)
In case of paracetamol all countries in Europe has made new rules about how much you are allowed to buy at a time as they have seen that people tend to use too much of it, especially in combination with alcohol ruining their kindneys, that´s why those pills are only over the counter nowadays.
The pharmacists in Germany are specialist who are also supposed to detect possible problems by taking different medication which might cause unwanted and really bad side effects.
Additionally, even with non-prescription medication, people can easily damage their health, poison themselves, misuse them, etc etc ...
That's the main reason why in Germany you can't just pick the stuff in a store like milk or butter.
Hmmmm , in Czechlands lots of these pain meds are regulated because you can make meth from them.
Funnily in non-EU parts of countries, you can get lots of things without prescriptions and the pharmacists are quite informed and helpful.
I am independent and appreciate browsing. As long as I have my iPhone with me, I am set for medications (I have celiac disease and must to make sure my meds are gluten free (and prefer vegan if I can find it).
With prescription medications, I feel rushed at the doctor’s office to find the right medication and pray that it is going to work for me. I typically have to do a some research for gluten free and call the doctor later for them to write me a prescription.
However, right now, I am on a “controlled substance” and that is a nightmare to obtain sometimes. I must go to the doctor every month, tell her the med is still working for me, blah blah, do a general check up (all the while getting this feeling I am there for them to make sure I am not abusing the medication), then go to the pharmacy. If I run out of tablets before my next appointment, I can usually call the doctor who will prescribe to get just enough tablets for that med to last until my next appointment. If I miss that appointment for any reason, my doctor may or may not be allowed to prescribe me that med.
I wish “the war on drugs” in America, which has been incredibly debunked as an effective way to reduce the abuse of drugs, didn’t affect how I can obtain my medication.
Dear Dana, there is one diffrence in prescription style betwenn germany and america, and thus in pharmacies: in germany the doctor writes a prescription for a specific brand and he can only chose betwen one to three sizes of packages and often a very limited amount of dossages er pill. And while the general health care contracts wants the pharmacies then to sell the cheapest possible generic unless there is a note of the doctor that it has to be the specific brand, private contracts and contracs that cover cases of occupational diseases forces the pharmacy to hand out the brand perscripted, a method that often leads to an unnessecary rip of those inssurances. Also this method in many cases cause huge amounts of left over pills in germanys closets, as the standard packaging often does not fit the needs of individual therapy lengths. In America the doctor can write down the active substance name, the dossage per pill and the number per pills nesscecary (up to a maximum number afaik?) and the pharmacy fills them up for you.
And for your problem that they always bring you the expensive medicine, there is one thing to know: there is one thing in germany called the "Rote Liste" a complete List of all active substances and the medicines featuring them, every pharmacy has this in two versions: book and pc version. Make them work for their money, tell them what kind of medicine you need, or what your symptomes are, then ask if there are alternativs BEFOR they go an fetvh the first that comes to their mind, ask for pros and cons of diffrent alternatives they offer, including the price (they can look up the price in their pc at their counter, and finally ask for the cheapest generic (dt. "Generikum"). In Germany the only allowed difference between generics is the vehicle substance and coloration, thus as long as there are no allergies or intolerances the cheapest is as good for you as the most expensive. So they can do the browsing for you, AND they have to do it for you by law, a pharmacist can loose his license if he refuse to answer your questions in detail. But they will only do so if they cannot get away with the fast way which earns them the most money (get the best known brand, which is the most expensive most of the time, and rely on the effect of advertisements and that the customer will recognize the brand and thus pay without further questioning).
I like the American way of filling packs of pills for each patient individually better, than the German "on size fits all" method as this methode produces tons of leftover pills, and often tons of aditional packaging. I am not a fan of the possibility of getting pain killer etc. freely almost everywere, though. As the risks of those are extremly underrated by this and through the German method at least at one point there is one who tells you, that there is a risk in taking those pills and you should ratzer go see a doctor instead of just numbing your symptomes. Medicine is not the same as clothes, cosmetics or food and should not be treated as such, as the range from helpful to toxic often is small.
Pharmacy in egypt is really looks like a super market ......and not only the pharmacist who gives u the medications ,but there are such ppl called assistants who really act as a pharmacist and even more diagnose your disease also priscripe u a suitable medications .......N.B ) they are not pharmacists ...they r such ppl doblnt know any thing about drugs but their names !!!! 😂😋 So really pharmacy here is such a Super market 😂 thx
An sich finde ich unsere Apotheken toll, aber wenn ich mir hier Ibuprofen kaufen will, bekomme ich bei dem Verhältnis Tablettenmenge/Preis nur noch mehr Kopfschmerzen. Da finde ich die Dosen mit 160 Pillen drin, die man in den USA für rund 12-16 Dollar bekommt, weitaus besser und hat mir auch schon bei starken Schmerzen, wie auch bei Fieber gut geholfen. Hier zahle ich rund 10 Euro, und bekomme auch nur sehr wenig Tabletten dafür.
Was ich hier auch vermisse, sind die Gel-Tabletten. Die bekomme ich viel leichter runter, da ich besonders vor der Tabletteneinnahme einen trockenen Mund bekomme :/
Aber hier in Deutschland bekommt man nur die rauen Dinger ...
I like the germany style much better. The huge advantage the german style offers is manyfold.
First of all, pharmacists in germany have to study pharmacy which is at least 4 years (8 Semesters) and often shares lectures medicin students have to attend. So pharmacists have a high educational background and therefore can help you in many situations that do not necessitate a doctor.
Secondly, as you said you cannot possibly know all kinds of medicin there is, that's why you can ask the pharmacist for alternatives. They will always tell you about a multitude of different brands and sorts of medicin to chose from and advise you about their pros and cons.
In a grocery store none of the employees who just restock and offer basic customer service have the background to help you with any of the medicin outside their limited experience.
The biggest issue with the american style is drugs, even non-prescription based ones, are not harmless. Ibuprofen is a common non-prescription based drug, but you can of cours develop immunities for that drug and others. The german style has you go to the pharmacy and talk to someone about your needs, which is one step further than just going to the grocery store you would go anyway and pick up medicin on the way, which prevents horrendous overuse of medicin. Using medicin for all little aches is not good and extremely bad practice in the US (not that everyone does it ofc).
Having to see the doctor to get a new prescription is a good thing to prevent drug-abuse, because you won't get another prescription if you are well enough to not have to take them anymore and the doctor will be able to tell if you are. If you have chronic health issues still have to regularly check up on your doctor, but you will get much larger quantities of medicin in your prescription.
I prefer the US pharmacies MUCH more. I know we Americans are a little uptight about our bodily functions maybe, but I would rather be left alone while selecting butt cream, wart remover, mustache bleach or whatever. ;) LOL
I did have an experience at a Munich Apothek. While visiting Munich for Oktoberfest, we left our hotel near the train station to visit the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, then meet up with friends for dinner afterward at the Hofbrauhaus, so I was going to be away from my hotel until after midnight. I realized I had forgetten to fill my purse with extra "feminine products" of the monthly kind that I had packed in my luggage from home.
OK, no problem, I see those red A apothek signs all over the city. There was one down the street from the museum, so hoping to pop in, grab a package from the shelf, and leave without needing to even speak to the cashier like I could in the US.
WRONG! There was nothing in the shop except a young man behind the register on the counter, a few tables of bubble bath and soap, and blank wall with nothing but a metal drawer like you see on a bank teller window in the US . SO WHAT DO I DO NOW? I dont speak German! Am I blind and cant see the shelf they are on? Is there another half of the store I missed seeing?
Nervously I approached the cute man at the counter and asked if they had pads or tampons. Thankfully he spoke English and even asked me what size I needed. "Uh, the biggest?" I embarrassingly blurted out and he tapped into the register. Phew, that was done.
Well, as long as I was there and not so shy anymore, I asked for sone sort of antiseptic cream and pointed to my scraped-up elbows. ( I had no clue when or how I scraped my elbows. I think I rubbed up against the rough plywood walls in the line to the ladies restrooms at the Festival the night before).
Then the oddest thing happened, my two purchases magically came sliding out the metal drawer in the wall. I assume the cash register computer silently sent a message to a mysterious person behind the wall who picked the items off shelves in the back and placed them in the sliding drawer and pushed it through the wall.
The tampons were OB brand which are not popular in the US (again because Americans are weird about bodies) but didnt weird me out as much as the neon orange goo antiseptic cream which stained the sheets, the towels, my skin--EEK. I have never used any mediciated cream quite like that before, and hopefully never again, but it did work. I think my cost was around 10-11 euros including tax (which seemed comparatively more than if I had able to compared prices and options and bought the cheapest generic in the US.)
Hey Dana, you said that you think that those who work in an Apotheke can't possibly know all the available options. The thing is, yes, they almost definitely do. And you need to study pharmacy in Germany to work as an Apotheker. Most Apothekers not only know the drugs, they even know how to make them.
Hi Dana, if you want to check out the prices of all non-presciption meds available in your Apotheke in Germany, you can usually find what's available and at what cost by going to an online pharmacy like DocMorris (others are available) and then either buy what you've decided on right there or go to your local pharmacy quoting the name of the medicine or, even better, the Pharmazentralnummer (PZN) of the exact packaging you're after. At a "real" Apotheke in town I also often ask for the cheapest medicine with the active drug I'm after, as there are often "Generika" (e.g. Ratiopharm or STADA) available for sometimes way less than half the price of the brand product which they run expensive adverts on television for. Hope this is useful to you, keep up the good vids.
Okay I ll talk in german, because what I want to say is to hard for me xD
Ja du musst ja nicht mal wirklich den Preis bezahlen :) wenn du alleine da hingehst und dir Medizin kaufst, die natürlich nicht Verschreibungspflichtig ist, musst du den vollen Preis zahlen, egal ob du krank bist oder nicht, aber meistens kannst du einfach zum Arzt gehen, der dann kurz prüft, ob du wirklich krank bist, und dir was verschreiben lassen. Dann musst du in den meisten Fällen nichts zahlen :)
Das was ich sage ist aus der Sicht einer Minderjährigen! Für MICH gilt sowas, weil ich noch nicht 18 bin, ob das für dich AUCH gilt weiß ich nicht so genau, aber ICH bekomme zb immer Ibuprofen und so weiter verschrieben, wenn ichs haben will (natürlich mit Grund). Naja aber soweit ich weiß bekommen Erwachsene trotzdem noch sehr viel verschrieben c:
Ich hoffe mal, dass ich keinen Mist erzähle xD
Und zu deiner Frage: I prefer the german style! Because you know everything is there at the pharmacy store and not everywhere. That everything is behind the cashier has also a reason: I can't explane it in English sorry :c was Medizin angeht sind wir sehr vorsichtig, weil das oft missbraucht werden kann :/ d.h. die Apotheker müssen immer genau wissen, was sie da im Lager haben und was sie rausgeben. Es ist auch viel übersichtlicher, weil du ihnen sagen MUSST was dir fehlt und sie dich dann auch beraten und dir das beste Produkt geben können. Für uns ist das viel zu gefährlich einfach in den Laden zu gehen und ein Produkt zu nehmen, okay DU machst es richtig :))) du informierst dich immer und ließt alles dirch, aber es gibt auch Menschen, die die Überschrift lesen und die Medizin dann einfach kaufen :/ und das ist schlecht für die Gesundheit! Und das wollen wir vermeiden. Ein weiterer Punkt ist, dass damit Diebstahl gemindert wird :) und zu viel Medizin kann wie Drogen wirken und ja, deswegen wollen wir auch Medizinmissbrauch nicht zulassen ;)
Lg und schönen Tag noch!
Last month I crashed my bike into a wall in Germany. My poor momma was so worried about her student daughter. I am glad SHE survived hahaha
I got a first hand look at German healthcare. I liked how I was treated so much more in Germany than in the USA. I love the USA but we really could do better. Oh well, while I am at Uni for the next year in Germany I will be sure to crash into as many walls as possible so I get even more German health care.
Um, does anyone think there is a problem with my plan? hahaha
My pharmacist usually just asks which brand I want (like Bayer, Ratiopharm etc) if there are more options. They always tell me if one of them is more expensive (usually they are the same price) and they can just check the price of the product on their screen if I am unsure ^^. Also if it is a prescripted medicine it can be more expensive but usually you can send your prescription "note" to your health insurance and they will give you the money back.
Me, for commen cold medicines or general stuff the supermarkets, nowdays. Because it is less expensive for the same quality these days. For serious medication for treatments the APOTHEKE, the classical pharmacy. Personaly, I never had a problem with pharmacies. But I know friends urgently in need for a certain medicine but they couldn´t get it because it had to be ordered first to the next opening day. This is clearly a fail in the system in Germany. Yes some commen medicine like pills against stomach aches or Rheumatism treatment in an ALDI or NORMA store.
Hi Dana! I found your video very helpful. It seems like German pharmacists get to actually communicate with patients more at the pharmacy. I am curious about Germany pharmacies vs. American pharmacies and I had a question that I was hoping you could answer! I have tried researching, but could not find anything about it. Do German pharmacists count out pills for prescription medications? For example, antibiotics in the U.S. are different for everyone. It could be 21 or 14 tablets, depending on the duration of the treatment. So what we do in the U.S. is count out the appropriate amount that the physician wrote on the prescription and we put the medicine in orange bottles. What I read was that the medication in Germany are pre-packaged and the physician doesn't write the direction of use on the prescription. Instead, the patient must read the package insert on how to use it. If you could clear this up for me, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
Ich benötige auch immer wieder die gleichen Allergiemittel, weshalb mein Arzt mir ein Rezept ausgestellt hat, mit welchem ich die Medikamente immer wieder nachkaufen kann ohne immer wieder zum Arzt zu gehen. Ich weiß jetzt nicht wie diese Rezepte heißen, aber es gibt sie :)
Are you sure you can't get ibuprofen, paracetamol, cetirizine, and immodium (whatever the generic is) at the supermarket? We go to the Kaufland sometimes and I swear I've seen these there, although admittedly it has been a while.
My GP works at what's called a "medical center", so when you go to the doctor and they decide that you need medication, you can leave the practice, go down the hall, and pick up the medication at the pharmacy on your way out. I think most GPs practice in this sort of place; I haven't seen any solitary apothecaries here.
Try calling your doctor's office and ask them if you really must make an appointment for medication refills. I use a steroid cream for eczema flare-ups, which are infrequent so I only need a refill every other year or so. I call them, tell them what I want, and they usually tell me, "It'll be ready by the end of the day."
Why are people in the comments even bringing up opiods.. it sounds like they think the opiods are just on our shelves..lol It has nothing to do with this. We do not have any serious medications on the shelves. And yes i know ALL medications are serious. I know a lot of people who try not to take any medications when they are sick.. People do not take medication when they do not need it.. for the most part anyway. There are always exceptions but for the most part people in the pharmacy are way too busy for you.They are more than happy to answer any questions for you but they clearly need to do it in a hurry. The reason some things are sold in huge bottles it because it is cheaper and you can buy it for a large family or a business and not have to go back until it expires. Someone suggested we feel like they are snacks because they are sold in grocery stores.. LMAO.. some people just want to believe the most ridiculous things..that is just so out there. Yes I curl up with a good book and a bowl of Ibuprofen all the time! HAHAHAHAHAHAH Literally dying at some of the things people believe.. WE HAVE 0 ADDICTIVE MEDICATIONS ON THE SHELVES.
Good to know :D but so far I've noticed one pharmacy here in Germany which us actually different:D It's called "easy Apotheke" and it's located in Frechen. It's much bigger than other german pharmacies and you can take the medicine you don't need a prescription for by yourself and just go to the pharmacist to pay. The other pharmacists still walk around the store to help people if they need. You should definitely check it out next time you're in Bergheim :D
It would be nice in Germany if the pharmacy would allow you to look at the information on the packaging - detailing the symptoms treated, side effects, and price on sample packaging without actual product in it. In my state (Mississippi) many allergy medicines are kept behind the counter but the package information is displayed on the shelves so that the shopper can compare the medicines. When you decide which medicine suits you best you go to the counter and ask for it.
In Estonia when I need a refill, I call my doctor who writes an e-prescription online, then I go to any pharmacy I want, present my ID and the pharmacist gets the e-prescription from the system and knows what drug I must get. So I do not have to go physically to the doctor.
Check out how it works in Norway. If you are in pain, you have to see your GP. He gives you a prescription for 1 capsule/ tablett, even mild stuff like Advil or Ibuprofen....
This precription has to be taken to a a special drug asigned doctor to get cosigned. If he does, you can go to the pharmacy, ......where they often tell you that they dont have those meds and it takes 4 weeks to order them in. I am talking about 1 single capsule of painkiller, not a truckload.
In South Africa its very similar to what you describe for Germany. Supermarkets will have a pharmacy section, but there are very few things that one can buy there directly off the shelf, mostly junk, although Ibuprofen, paracetamol and aspirin are typically available as well. Larger supermarkets will have an in store dispensary in the pharmacy section with two sections, one for prescriptions and one for non-prescription regulated medicines. Actual pharmacies have the same setup, junk directly off the shelf, dispensary for prescriptions and dispensary for regulated non-prescription.
I see the German Drogerie similar to US pharmacies. I do like and miss the Apotheken, because I feel you get better advice there. I also like that you get your prescriptions right away and don't have to wait for them. I do wonder if the American system is more prone to errors. I have heard some horror stories where people ended up with a wrong dose due to an error of the pharmacist and in some cases they even died.
I work in a pharmacy in Germany and the "american way" of buying medicine sounds so awful to me.
Medicines are no candy. To me that's very irresponsible.
To the price-thing: the most pharmacys don't label the medicines with prices, because we (of cause) want to sell what actually brings us money but also because the most of the "cheap" versions do have a different way of working, like the original medicine start working in 10min and will work for about 5-6h, the cheap version oft don't work as good. And unfortunately many ppl want to save money which is not a bad thing at all but in my eyes medicine should not be a thing to save money, health is so important... to me it is actually a shame that ppl don't want to invest in their health, it's not like we sell rubbish :(
But if one of my customers want something cheaper or I actually know that the generic drug works as good as the original one, I do recommend and sell it, of cause. And we DO know, whats on the market, all pharmacys in Germany have a special computer program which shows every single medicine in Germany and even many from the international market and also if they are available or not.
Feeling like having offered the same thing is a common thing, because we all do trainings, the most do 2 in one year where we learn new medicines and new ways to cure diseases, so we do recommend the medicine that is still the best option for you.
But you can always ask for something else like "Are there different active ingredients, that could also work good in my case" or "I already know this one but I would like to take something different", I always want my costumer happy and if they ask for something different I love to advise something different for him/her, so he/she leaves my pharmacy with the perfect medicine fitting the disease.
And the thing with the prescription:
I worked in a few different pharmacy's and in everyone it was totally fine to order your meds by phone.
Often the doctor's office fax the prescription and the delivery man of the pharmacy gets them later that day.
Just ask you doctor if the could do this for you. That's a common thing. :)
Sorry for the long post and I hope my English is okay. ^^
Have a good day.
found your post very interesting!
Now that you mention it- of course it makes sense. I always thought the main reason for branded meds being more expensive is that they do all the research and have to fund it whereas knock offs just copy stuff, but it might work as well.
If i knew this, if my pharmacist tells me: "Sure, you can buy this painkiller for half the price, but it only works half as long" i wouldn't even think about it and buy the more expensive one. I always thought that if something says: ibuprofen 400, it will work the same, no matter the brand.
Lordi Awa, Fine post. Thanks.
In the USofA we expect a certain level of education exists so that average adults can read dosing limitations and follow them. For example the instructions might be:
No more than 3 pills at one time, allow 4 hours between each 3 pill dose, no more than 12 pills per 24 hours. Stop taking after 5 days and consult a doctor if symptoms remain.
If we had better sick leave and health care insurance policies might tolerate medical drug policy being more pharmacist oriented.
I found weird in the US how they give your medication not in the original package ( box or else) but in some orange pill bottle. I feel this can increase the chance of human error or even contamination of the medication. ...
I don't think that pharmacies have 30-day or single course of XYZ prescription to hand in most instances. The suppliers send huge containers with 300+ pills for each pharmacy to count out for each prescription. Space, time, cost saving. Which since pharmaceutical companies in the US are charging huge mark ups on medication anyway I'm not surprised. The training that pharmacists and technicians go through prevents errors though, one person prepares, then someone else checks, and finally someone signs off. Well that's the hope!
This past summer, I had the worst allergy attacks while in Munich. Stood in line at the Apoteke -- "Ich brauche etwas für Allergien".
Got the German version of Zyrtec, which was plainly packaged (with Braille, which I though was cool), and honestly worked better than any over the counter allergy medicine I've tried in the US. I honestly like German way of handling it better
Hey Dana, I as a German can give you the hint, that you shouldn't ask the pharmacist for a medication but for an *active agent* you need for e.g. specific illness situations! After you asked THAT, you can just ask the pharmacist for the cheapest medication with this agent and you are done :)
Honestly, I still don't see the point of comparing all the options I might have. I don't know if it's a good idea to treat buying medicine like grocery shopping. Every type of food is digested more or less the same, whereas pharmaceuticals can interact with each other, everybody tolerates them differently, etc. It makes sense to enforce a kind of consulting or briefing.
The big advantage of german pharmacies is, that you never get a Medication without advise and consulting a pharmacist. So if you have a only a flew, its most unlikely you consult a doctor, but go directly to the pharmacy. There the pharmacist will help you to find the right medication based on your symptoms.
And for the medication you can get without a perscription, there is sometimes some danger behind it too, so you'll be always advised in Germany.
In the Netherlands, things like painkillers, cough-medicine, homeopathic remedies etc are available at the grocery store or drug store. You also don't have to go to the doctor to get a refill. You just call them and a day later you get an invite from the pharmacy telling you that your prescription is ready.
I do think we have less over-the-counter drugs available here compared to the US, though. Some meds that you can freely buy overseas are pharmacy only here.
Hey Dana, awesome video! I have two things to note tho: first, most German pharmacies I have gone to have a computer system where you can look stuff up. So you can just tell them "Hey I want some Ibuprofen with the cheapest price". If you get your medication, there will be a number on it (called the PZN) and with this number you can order the same medication for the same price in any german pharmacy and get it within a 24 hour window tops. Plus there are some websites out there that let you browse all medications along with their PZN 🙂
And as for the refills, I guess this depends on where in Germany you live, but most doctors here in central Germany you can just call and you can either just pop by to pick up your new prescription or they will send it to you. My local pharmacy even has a little box outside where you throw the prescription in and they will deliver it to you free of charge (although that is probably rare nowadays)!
My spell-checker on Chrome has stopped working. Here in Sweden, after de-regulation of Pharmacy, I can ask for a refill via Internet. I fill out a form and sign it with a digital signature called Mobilt BankID. Then, I can go to a Pharmacy online and login in with Mobilt BankID, check out my options, as a pharmacist via Chatt and then a couple of days later it arrives in the mail. We have also something roughly translated to "cost control" (högkostnadsskydd). You as a patient only pay a max amount for your prescribed medicin under one year, then it is free.
i think you forgot to mention one important fact: the dosage is totaly different.........european pain killers have a small package with high dosage.....you only take like 1-3 pills per day.....in the US you can buy a 500 pill jar and eat them like chewing gum.....have to ask americans for examples but eating 20 or more per day sounds normal to me
I'm American, and although I don't know the comparison of dosages for over-the-counter drugs in the USA vs Europe, I can tell you that taking 20 or more per day of pretty much anything is definitely NOT normal in the US.
I think it is safer to buy all medicine in the phamacy so I like the German way more but you are right: They often sell you the more expencive things. And Dana, there are doctors that send you the prescription when you need a refill many times, you don't have to go always to the doctor.
Germans tend to be more aware of the fact that half the country is dumber than an average citizen and needs to be protected from its own stupidity. US Americans are more oblivious of this and tend to think that everyone is smart enough to fend for themselves and become a billionaire. Yea, right.. .
Never had an issue asking a pharmacist in the US for assistance with choosing a non prescription drugs. I just say what's wrong and ask their recommendations. It's part of their job.
And in Germany... some other stores do have non prescription painkillers so it's a sweeping statement to say they don't. In Germany just tell the pharmacist that you want to see all the drugs available for problem rather than asking for one at a time.
It may be trivial but I feel more comfortable buying my medication somewhere where I'm asked if I know how to use it correctly. Even if it's just Iboprofen (which is the only med I need). So "merchant behind the counter" it is for me.
Which pharmacy style do I prefer? Sounds like the German system sucks. The German system sounds like it was designed for people with a Borg mindset who evidently feel happy having every aspect of their lives controlled by the government. The only drawback is that Americans don't do their homework and waste millions of dollars making the pharmaceutical companies rich and often their health worse from taking the wrong meds.
The problem is that most people actually have a limited mindset. Speaking with Terry Pratchett: Do you know how stupid the average citizen is? And know consider that - statistically - half of them is even dumber.
What I like in the US is I the pharmacies are open a lot longer and even 24/7 and Apoteken close at 6 so if you get a headache at 8pm you either have to beg your neighbor or sit it out until the next morning. Also I wish they had the gel filled headache pills in Germany as they act so much faster.
German doctors can hand out medicine to you. A little amount of doctors have just everything in stock what you might need. But most of them just have stuff most people need really fast. Like penicillin and amoxicillin, and some stuff to cure things like heavy lung deseases or stuff like insulin and epinephrine. And you cannot buy medicine in gas stations for example, to eliminate the risk of risky medicine from China or as you might think Mexico being sold
In Denmark you can buy over the counter medicin at some gas stations and supermarkets. However, no self service. The selection is very small and so are the packages. Ibuprofen you can only purchase 20 pill/day because some people attempted suicide by overdosing. Naturally I won't work but is really painful.
For prescription medicine you need to see your doctor. For some medicine you are expected to take regularly, e.g. heart medicine the doctor will make a prescription for a period, perhaps a year. You can usually renew it over the phone or by just writing a mail to him.
The prescription is handled electronically, so you can enter any "apotek" and pick up your medicine. It works quiet conveniently and prevents excessive use of medicine. As far as I understand, the use of medicine, especially pain killers, are much higher in the US than most other countries.
The only con to our system, as I see it, is the price is pretty high because of monopoly.
You can always ask the pharmacist to look for the cheapest / a cheaper option instead. I'm a student, thus not a lot of money available and I told them I needed strong painkillers but as cheap as possible and they checked. They don't mind and usually they just sell the option that's the most used which is convenient, as it's on the top of the shelf, like easy accessable.
Ich finde es spannend, das Dana und auch einige in den Kommentaren davon berichten in der Apotheke immer die gleichen und teuersten Dinge angeboten zu bekommen. Ich hab genau die gegenteilige Erfahrung gemacht. Ich werde fast immer auf eine günstige Alternative oder ein besonderes Angebot hingewiesen. Und wenn ich nicht genau weiß, was ich brauche und mich beraten lasse, werden mir meistens mind. zwei Produkte vorgestellt, Preise genannt, vor und Nachteile erklärt und dann wäge ich ab, welches Produkt mir mehr zusagt. Auch in dieser Situation hab ich schon oft gehört "Es ist fast das gleiche, nur, dass A etwas praktischer ist, weil... ob Ihnen das die vier Euro mehr wert sind, dürfen Sie entscheiden." Ich komme ursprünglich vom Land, habe dann in einer nicht ganz so großen Stadt studiert und lebe jetzt in einer Großstadt. Habe bisher überall die gleiche Erfahrung gemacht.
I don't know about Florida, but here in California a doctor can also phone in a brand new prescription or fax one directly to the pharmacy. Even more convenient in some cases is having one's prescription medication mailed directly to them. My medical insurance actually requires me to use an on line pharmacy and to have any regular medication that I use mailed directly to me. That on-line pharmacy is also willing to do the job of contacting my doctor directly in case there are any updates or questions. I am required to see my doctor regularly for scheduled check-ups and tests to keep my meds current, but the "pharmacy" part is quite easy!
Community pharmacists are the health professionals most accessible to the public. They supply medicines in accordance with a prescription or, when legally permitted, sell them without a prescription. In addition to ensuring an accurate supply of appropriate products, their professional activities also cover counselling of patients at the time of dispensing of prescription and non-prescription drugs, drug information to health professionals, patients and the general public, and participation in health-promotion programmes. They maintain links with other health professionals in primary health care.