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Prescription-only medicines

Medicines are only available in pharmacies in Saxony. Many medicines are only available on prescription from a doctor. These are referred to as prescription-only medicines. The doctor writes a prescription. The prescription is taken to the pharmacy and the patient receives the medicine.

At least one pharmacy in the vicinity will be operating an emergency service at any time during the day or night. Patients must pay a contribution towards the cost of prescription-only medicines. This amount is a maximum of 10 euros and a minimum of 5 euros, but it is not more than the actual cost of the medicine.


You pay for pharmacist-only medicines (medicines which are available in pharmacies without a prescription) yourself.

Exception: Where non-prescription medicines are the standard treatment for serious illnesses, children up to the age of 12 receive them free of charge.

From 2004, every insured person must contribute 2% of his annual gross income to the additional payment of medicines, aids and remedies as well as visits to doctors and hospital stays.

Expection: Households with low incomes and chronically ill people can apply for exemption from the obligation of payment. This means that the limited additional payment per year is 1% of the total income. For this reason, it is important to collect all receipts and then to calculate when the relevant threshold is reached and to go to the appropriate health insurance fund and to exempt yourself from additional payments until the end of the year.

  • A person is regarded as chronically ill if:
  1. the person is receiving permanent medical treatment (at least one visit to a doctor per quarter for the same disease) and is participating in an existing structured treatment programme for the treatment or
  2. there is a need for level 2 or 3 care or
  3. the degree of disability is at least 60% or there is at least a 60% reduction in the ability to be gainfully employed or
  4. constant medical care is required as there would otherwise be the risk of a worsening of the disease, a reduction in life expectancy or a permanent diminution in the quality of life in the view of a doctor and
  5. the chronically ill person regularly underwent statutory health examinations prior to the disease from 1 January 2008 onwards (only applies to people born after 1 April 1972);
  6. the chronically ill person, who suffers from a kind of cancer for which an examination for the early detection of cancer exists, underwent this examination regularly prior to the disease from 1 January 2008 onwards (this only applies to women born after 1 April 1987 and men born after 1 April 1962);
  7. the doctor establishes that the insured person has behaved in a way which is appropriate to the treatment.


Sächsisches Staatsministerium für Soziales und Verbraucherschutz; Quelle: Health Guide for Migrants in the Free State of Saxony 2014-01-20