Prescriptions for medicinal products and medical devices

Member States of the European Union or another contractual party of the EEA Agreement must ensure that medical prescriptions (prescriptions for medicinal products and medical devices) from another Member State can be filled in their territory and in accordance with their applicable national legislation. If persons insured in Austria are treated in another Member State and if medicinal products or medical devices are prescribed for them in that state, then Austria as the Member State of affiliation must take all measures necessary to ensure the continuity of the treatment in Austria.

Restrictions regarding the acceptance of personal prescriptions are only permissible if they are limited to the extent deemed necessary and reasonable for the protection of human health and are not discriminatory, or else based on legitimate and justified doubts as to the authenticity, contents, or comprehensibility of such a prescription.

Prerequisites for the filling of a foreign prescription in Austria

The following prerequisites must be met in order to fill a prescription in Austria:

  • The prescription must contain the elements specified in Commission Implementing Directive 2012/52/EU of 20 December 2012 laying down measures to facilitate the recognition of medical prescriptions issued in another Member State.
  • The prescription was issued by a member of a healthcare profession who is legally authorized to do so in the issuing state.

Prerequisites for the filling of an Austrian prescription in another country

If a person insured in Austria wishes to have a prescription issued in Austria filled in another Member State, he or she must inform the doctor issuing the prescription accordingly.

  • The prescription must contain the elements specified in the Prescription Requirement Act.
  • The prescription must be issued by a doctor or a dentist.

Elements to be included in the prescriptionIdentity of the patient:

  • Last name(s)
  • First name(s) (written out, no initials)
  • Date of birth

Authenticity of the prescription:

  • Date of issue

Identity of the prescribing party:

  • Last name(s)
  • First name(s) (written out, no initials)
  • Information on professional qualification
  • Direct contact information (e-mail and telephone or fax number, with the international coun-try code in each case)
  • Place of practice, including (handwritten or electronic) signature

Identity of the prescribed product, if required:

  • "Common name"*
  • Brand name in the following cases:
    • the prescribed product is a biological medicinal product or
    • the prescribing party deems it medically necessary; in these cases a brief justification as to why the trade name is being used must be given on the prescription.
  • Pharmaceutical form (tablet, solution, etc.)
  • Amount
  • Strength
  • Dose regime

* In the case of medicinal products, in the international context the international non-proprietary name (INN) recommended by the WHO must generally be listed on the prescription, if there is one. Otherwise the name of the active pharmaceutical ingredient must be listed. The reason for this is that brand names differ among EU Member States.

Refusal to dispense medications

Pharmacists in other countries have the right to refuse to dispense a medicinal product or medical device if there is doubt as to the authenticity, contents, or comprehensibility of the prescription.

The used references can be found in the List of sources.

Last update: 19 July 2019

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