Where do I collect my medicines?
In the Netherlands, you subscribe to one pharmacy, which from then on is responsible for handling all your medicines. Like this, they make sure your prescripted medications don’t conflict. Of course, you can change the pharmacy when you change the address. Another practical fact about healthcare in the Netherlands is that your GP or specialist usually sends the prescriptions directly to the pharmacy so that the medication is already in place when you get there. Alternatively, the doctor will give you the prescription, which you can redeem directly at your pharmacy.
There are two types of prescriptions: a one-time recipe and repeat recipes (herhaalrecept). You can pick up the medicine on the prescription once with a one-time recipe. With a repeat prescription, you can pick up the medication multiple times once you run out of the treatment, that is usually the case with birth control or other medicine you need to take over a more extended period.
Collect medicines at the weekend: Pharmacies usually stick to business hours. In an emergency, you can visit a service pharmacy to get your medicine outside regular opening hours. Usually, they are located in or next to a hospital or emergency unit. To find a service pharmacy in your neighbourhood, google ‘dienstapotheek‘ on Google Maps. Be aware that you pay a surcharge for collecting your medicine at the weekend.