Pharmacies Guide for Expats

It is recommended that you bring enough prescription medication to last until your next trip home to refill. Prescription medications may not be as readily available in Beijing and pharmacies will not fill prescriptions brought from overseas. You will need to see a doctor in Beijing to receive a new prescription. Also, certain drugs are tightly controlled in China so their availability may be limited as well.

All international hospitals and clinics have their own pharmacies, which makes filling prescriptions easy. You would see your doctor here in Beijing, receive a written prescription, and take it to the in-house pharmacy to have it filled.

If you do not see a doctor at the pharmacy’s hospital for your prescription, call the pharmacy to see whether they can still fill your prescription from another international hospital in the city. It may vary by clinic and hospital.

Pharmacies at International Hospitals/Clinics

  • Beijing United Family Hospital runs a well-stocked pharmacy in its main building where you will be able to get Western prescriptions filled. Pharmacists are trained and knowledgeable. Opened 24 hours. 2 Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District, (5927 7120)
  • International SOS Clinic is open 24 hours and runs a pharmacy stocking many western medications. Suite 105, Wing 1, Kunsha Building, 16 Xinyuanli, Chaoyang District, (6462 9112)

Over-the-Counter Drugs

  • Watsons is a western-style chain of drugstores that will have basic over-the-counter medications. Call for nearest location and opening hours (8518 6426).
  • Golden Elephant Medicine is a chain of Chinese drugstores that sells a wide range of over-the-counter Western and Chinese medicine. Pharmacists here can make recommendations for medicines to treat common ailments. Often open 24 hours. (6607 7021 or 6606 4935).