Medication in Belgium

Good morning everyone,

Whether it's a simple cold or a chronic illness, medication and medicine use vary from country to country and culture to culture.

When you are used to certain brands or types of drugs, being in a country like Belgium with different rules can affect your daily well-being.

Some drugs also differ in name, price, dosage, active molecule, so we would like to hear your opinion on these issues:

Have you ever had difficulties finding familiar or useful medicines for your health in your host country?

Have you ever been faced with a shortage of medicines in Belgium?

Would you have said that in Belgium drugs are more or less expensive than in your home country? Do you find them more or less effective or of similar quality?

What is the place of alternative medicines in your host country? Have you ever used them?

Thank you in advance for your feedback,


Hi Loïc,

I did not feel any difference or additional difficulty.

I came from another European country, so the differents are not that big. Some names are not the same but the doctors or pharmaceutics search for it and give the equivalent.


is the *** system everywhere they create costumers  ,belgium is better cuz there u have insurance where i live Albania u have to pay maybe triple and get some pills that do nothing just make u spend a lot and feel the same

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hello everyone,

yes, i have faced lot of problems not just with medicines in (Antwerp) Belgium but with doctors too,
they don't attend you when u are sick, your case history is with one doctor and in emergency someone else attend to you, they are not able to diagnose your problem correctly, i was so hassled for a year
and went back to India to my doctor, and now i am better :)


Biggest difference is having to go see a doctor to get prescribed, cant just buy something over counter. BUT... it is cheaper here and insurance coverage is great. Healthcare seems better organised, can see someone quickly, access to records is better (than UK nhs), turnaround is better, queues are less, diagnosis more urgent... things are called different but that's to be expected because it's a different language!
Overall, no shortages experienced ever. 
Do sometimes wonder if doctors prescribe based on what is best for the individual or what is 'on offer' first... ie; try cheaper medication to see if it works then have to see patient again rather than the more expensive option that would definitely work first time... but I dont think that's belgium specific, probably same anywhere.... on the other hand,
Sometimes think quick to dole out medications too... ie, have this to help you sleep rather than trying to figure out what the underlying cause is...  again, not relative to belgium, same elsewhere probably.
Hope this helps.


It is no more difficult to find a medicine in Belgium than in other countries.

Just take the instructions for use of his / her medication (s) as well as several medical prescriptions from your attending physician.

PACKAGE LEAFLET: a medicine can change its trade name. But the chemical molecule and its dosage remain the same.

MEDICAL PRESCRIPTION: this allows the pharmacist to demonstrate that you are actually taking treatment.

And if you are really smart, ask your doctor for a copy of your medical records. Like this, in case of emergency and / or illness, a foreign doctor will already have some knowledge of your medical history.

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