I have to take 4 medicines on a daily basis to treat various chronic conditions. In the US these are all prescriptions medicines but our health insurance has an online pharmacy which ships to our door. So I only have to actually go to the pharmacy for temporary conditions. Hen fang bian.
I’ve arrived in Taiwan last month and will be here for another 8 months. Last month, I needed a drug renewed so I went to the hospital and got things taken care of that way. At that time, I received one month’s worth of medicine. A local friend suggested that I do not take more because she wanted to check whether I was eligible for the national insurance, etc. etc. (I’ve since found out that I won’t be eligible until I’ve been 4 months in Taiwan.) Anyway, I’ve left there with my medicine but now I realize that I don’t really have a prescription. I have a bag of medicine with instructions printed on it but there is nothing which says that I can get more of this medicine.
I’ve searched the forum and found several questions of the form “do I need a prescription for medicine X” to which the answer was “no, you can just ask the pharmacist for it”.
So some questions come to mind:
Is it the case that for most medicines, even those which require a prescription in the US, you can just go to the pharmacy and get it without a prescription? (I’m inferring, perhaps incorrectly, from the various posts I saw on the forum.)
If there is a medicine I need a prescription for, what is the best way to minimize my trips to the doctor? In the US, I can easily get a doctor to give me a prescription which will give me 90 days or more of medicine. However, when I went to the hospital they gave me 28 days of medicine and that’s it, no prescription. Do I need to specifically ask for a prescription?
Is there a reputable Taiwanese pharmacy which ships? That would really be the most convenient for me, I think.
Thanks a lot. I presume other people with chronic conditions have had to cross this bridge and will be able to offer advice.