Prescriptions In Croatia: What Is Available And How To Ensure You Get The Right Level Of Care - Expat Focus (2024)

If you are living and working in Croatia, or are just visiting the country, you should have relatively little difficulty in obtaining your medication. However, the country does have some restrictions on which medications you can bring into it, so it is advisable to check these, especially if you have a repeat prescription. Once you have arrived in Croatia, you should easily be able to locate a pharmacy, as the country has around 1200 of them. We will look at some of your options below.

What is available?

Note that you may have difficulties in obtaining prescription medication over the counter. If you need a prescription in your home nation, it is likely that you will need one in Croatia, too, although expats report that some pharmacies will issue you with a ‘first time’ prescription medication in an emergency.

Expats also report that medication in pharmacies tends to be the branded kind, so it may be difficult to find the ‘own brand’ drugs (such as ibuprofen or allergy medication) that you can buy in supermarkets and pharmacy chains in the UK.

The Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO, also known as the CHIF) has a consultative body, the Committee for Medicinal Products (CMP), which consists of 13 members. This is accountable for drug assessment and reimbursem*nt. The Croatian Chamber of Physicians is accountable for reviewing CMP decisions.

How much do prescriptions cost?

How much your prescription will cost will depend on whether you have HZZO coverage, have supplementary dopunsko insurance, or are paying out of pocket.

Two reimbursem*nt lists exist for national insurance: the basic (100% drug coverage) and the supplementary (co-payment from 10% to 90%) lists. The basic list covers both hospital and retail drugs, but there is also a special drug list for expensive drugs (mainly hospital drugs). International reference pricing is also established, and list updates are done on an annual basis.

Prescriptions In Croatia: What Is Available And How To Ensure You Get The Right Level Of Care - Expat Focus (1)

How much your prescription will cost in Croatia will depend on a number of factors

The reference wholesale price of medication is calculated according to the wholesale price of the same medicinal product (identical generic product and identical pharmaceutical form) in Italy, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic. However, if this information is not available, then the prices in the next two countries, Spain and France respectively, are used as the basis of the calculations.

Co-payment exists only for retail drugs. Although there are no formal categories (such as 25% and 50%), the level of co-payment depends on annual jumbo-group referencing. The difference in cost is covered by the HZZO for the cheapest drug in the jumbo group and the price of the medication in question. However, the maximum that you are likely to pay is 74% of the cost of your medication.

Pharmacies are recommended to prescribe the cheapest generic medication, but this is not compulsory. The prescribing of retail products is done according to their brand names, but for hospital products, the prescription is by international nonproprietary names.

How to get the care you need

If you are bringing your medication into Croatia, make sure that it is properly labelled and that you have enough to last for the duration of your visit. You can usually get prescription meds for three months from your GP.

You will find many ljekarna (pharmacies) in Croatia, also known as apoteka, and they are indicated by green neon signs. They are open until 6pm or 7pm on weekdays and 1pm or 2pm on Saturdays, and there are usually 24-hour pharmacies for emergencies. Pharmacy staff may speak a little English or German, but it is advisable to take your medication in its original packaging, along with your prescription. If possible, use medical names rather than brand names, as the latter can differ from country to country.

If you are living in Croatia and are registered with the HZZO, then you will be able to access prescriptions through your GP, including electronic prescriptions. You can then take the prescription and your HZZO card to the ljekarna. You may need to make a small co-payment.

Prescriptions In Croatia: What Is Available And How To Ensure You Get The Right Level Of Care - Expat Focus (2)

If you are living in Croatia and are registered with the HZZO, then you will be able to access prescriptions through your GP

If you have the kind of supplementary insurance known as dopunsko insurance, however, then take your dopunsko card along as well, and this will eliminate your co-payments.

You should be able to pick your medication up straightaway. Ljekarna tend to be dedicated to medication, rather than being general purpose pharmacies.

If you are registered with the HZZO, you will need to be signed up with a family GP. If you obtain a prescription from a private doctor, then this will not be covered under your HZZO insurance. However, if you send it to your family doctor, they can replicate it, and this prescription will be covered.

If you are visiting Croatia, rather than moving there full-time, then you will not be eligible for HZZO prescriptions. You must therefore pay out of pocket for your medication.

It is recommended that, as well as any routine immunisations, you have vaccinations for the following:

• Hepatitis A
• Hepatitis B
• Influenza
• Rabies

Overall, you should find it relatively straightforward to get your medication in Croatia.

Prescriptions In Croatia: What Is Available And How To Ensure You Get The Right Level Of Care - Expat Focus (2024)


Prescriptions In Croatia: What Is Available And How To Ensure You Get The Right Level Of Care - Expat Focus? ›

If you are living in Croatia and are registered with the HZZO, then you will be able to access prescriptions through your GP, including electronic prescriptions. You can then take the prescription and your HZZO card to the ljekarna. You may need to make a small co-payment.

What are pharmacies called in Croatia? ›

The answer is the ljekarna, the Croatian equivalent of the pharmacy. Croatians may also call it apoteka.

How do I fill out a prescription from another country? ›

Many pharmacies in other countries will only fill prescriptions written in that country (i.e., that are prescribed by doctors who are licensed to practice in that country). It will be critical to have a letter from your physician during this appointment that explains the diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen.

What prescriptions are not allowed in Europe? ›

What medication should I be careful bringing?
  • ADHD/ADD medications (*Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin) *considered illegal narcotics in many European countries.
  • Pain medications (Vicodin, Oxycontin, Demerol)
  • Anxiety medications (Xanax, Ativan, Valium)
Jan 6, 2022

How do I bring prescriptions to other countries? ›

During Travel

Carry a written prescription and a letter from your doctor explaining the medication and medical condition. Do not have banned or controlled substances mailed to you. In case of an emergency, contact International SOS if you are sick, injured, or need medical advice.

How much is a prescription in Croatia? ›

If you have supplementary health insurance, you do not have to pay the 20% co-payment. Supplementary insurance costs 10 euros to 40 euros a month. Basic prescription medicine is free. You'll have to pay for other medicines, unless you're covered by supplementary insurance.

Does Croatia have free healthcare? ›

In Croatia there is always a charge for treatment, which can be up to 530 euros. You may have other costs your GHIC or EHIC does not cover, including: changes to travel and accommodation bookings. additional standard costs for treatment.

Can CVS fill foreign prescription? ›

To get a prescription, you will first need to visit a medical provider. Even if you have been taking the medication in your home country, you cannot use a prescription from your home country to fill medication. Pharmacies will only fill prescriptions written by a U.S. based physician.

Do pills need to be in prescription bottles when flying international? ›

Keep medicines in their original, labeled containers. Ensure that they are clearly labeled with your full name, health care provider's name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Bring copies of all written prescriptions, including the generic names for medicines.

How to pack medicine for air travel? ›

It is recommended that medication be clearly labeled to facilitate the screening process. You may bring medically necessary liquids, medications and creams in excess of 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in your carry-on bag. Remove them from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

Is ibuprofen banned in Europe? ›

Ibuprofen and dexibuprofen medicines have been authorised in the EU through national approval procedures and have been available for many years under a wide range of trade names. They are available on prescription and over the counter.

What antibiotics are banned in Europe? ›

The European Union's new laws have come into effect, banning the prophylactic use of antibiotics in farmed animals. The overuse of antibiotics is resulting in a global public health crisis, with as many as 3,500 human deaths worldwide from antimicrobial resistant infections (superbugs) daily.

Can a US doctor send a prescription to another country? ›

In general, mailing or couriering any kind of medication from one country to another is illegal.

Can prescriptions be mailed internationally? ›

For domestic and international shipments, importation of prescription drugs for personal use is prohibited unless FDA approved. You'll also need the following information on the commercial invoice in order to mail prescription drugs: Full name, address, and phone number of the recipient's physician.

How to get prescriptions when living abroad? ›

Find a Local Doctor

Your best bet would be to connect with the local health care system and set up an appointment with a doctor who can prescribe the medicine needed. How can I find a reliable doctor in a foreign country who speaks English? I suggest asking in expat or local FB groups for advice.

How do you get prescriptions filled when traveling? ›

The most common way to refill your medication for traveling is to use a vacation override. Vacation overrides are done by asking your pharmacy to contact your insurance company. Then the insurance company can provide an override that will allow your medication to be filled earlier than anticipated.

What are pharmacies called in Europe? ›

In German-speaking countries, such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland, pharmacies or chemist stores are still called apothecaries or in German Apotheken.

What were pharmacies called? ›

Historically, the term “apothecary” referred to both the person who manufactured and dispensed medicines (lowercase “a” for our purposes), and the shop in which those medicines were sold (capitalized “A”).

What are some pharmacy names? ›

Unique Pharmacy Business Names
  • MediLife Pharmacy.
  • PharmaCure.
  • Wellness Rx.
  • HealPharm.
  • QuickMeds.
  • HealthFirst Pharmacy.
  • MediExpress.
  • PrimeCare Pharmacy.

What are the top pharmaceutical companies in Croatia? ›

  • PLIVA HRVATSKA d.o.o. Country: Zagreb, Grad Zagreb. ...
  • BELUPO d.d. Country: Koprivnica, ...
  • Hospira Zagreb d.o.o. Country: Prudnice, Zagrebacka Zupanija. ...
  • JGL d. d. Country: Rijeka, Primorsko-goranska Zupanija. ...
  • Genera d.d. Country: ...
  • KRKA-FARMA d.o.o. Country: ...
  • PharmaS d.o.o. Country: ...
  • FIDIFARM, d.o.o. Country:

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