Victoria Serviços Imobiliários, Cascais

Blue or green? Different Types of Pharmacies in Portugal

In Portugal, purchasing non-prescription medications like paracetamol or cold remedies isn’t as straightforward as in many other countries. In most supermarkets and shops, you won’t find these items “over the counter” as they’re still sold under controlled conditions. Occasionally a supermarket will have a single checkout line with medications dispensed by the cashier, but the queue for that checkout is usually much longer than the rest!

Fortunately you’ll encounter a unique type of pharmacy in Portugal identifiable by blue signage or the label “Medicamentos Não Sujeitos a Receita Médica” (Medications Not Subject to Medical Prescription). These pharmacies can sometimes be confusing, especially for non-nationals, as they closely resemble standard pharmacies both inside and out.

However, they’re distinguishable by their blue theme and signage. While they might not be as prevalent as the traditional “green” pharmacies, they’re often situated near larger supermarkets. If you’re not near a supermarket, spotting the blue cross outside the pharmacy should provide a helpful hint.

So, while the process of purchasing non-prescription medications may seem a bit different in Portugal, understanding the distinction between these types of pharmacies can make the experience much smoother for visitors and residents alike.

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