In the Netherlands, prescription medications must be obtained at pharmacies (called apotheek), after they have been called in by your doctor or specialist. Since the national Dutch health insurance covers the cost of many medications, in many cases you will have to give the pharmacist your insurance information when you go to pick up medications for the first time. After your initial visit to a pharmacy, they will have your information on file for future prescriptions.
It is common for pharmacies in Amsterdam to supply non-prescription medications in addition to the prescriptions that they carry. Many also sell common drug store items. Pharmacists are able to answer any questions that you might have regarding medication or your conditions, and staff will typically speak English.
Light drugs, such as paracetamol, cough syrup, and bandages can be purchased at the local supermarket.
Some international prescriptions are valid in the Netherlands, however you should always ask your doctor, since some some pharmacies will require a local prescription. For example, ADHD pills are not handed out as easily as in the United States, and a Dutch prescription is required.
The opening days and hours are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., but times may differ. As in most cities, there are always a few pharmacies open, on rotating shifts. Therefore, the pharmacy located close to your house will be open all night only once or twice per week. In case of urgent matters, in order to find out which pharmacy is open, you can call 020 592 33 15, or go to the nearest pharmacy and search its window for the stores currently on duty.
Main chains and pharmacies located in Amsterdam
This chain has approximately 230 pharmacies in the Netherlands and various branches throughout Amsterdam, some of which are listed below.
Mediq Apotheek Zieseniss
1052 CN Amsterdam
Mediq Apotheek de Krommerdt
Admiraal de Ruiterweg 109
1056 EV Amsterdam
Mediq Apotheek Wester
1057 DZ Amsterdam
Mediq Apotheek De Poort
1102 DS Amsterdam
This chain has several branches scattered around Amsterdam, which are found more in the regions lying on the outskirts of the city centre.
Kring-apotheek de Pijp
Kuiperstraat 147 b
1073 ER Amsterdam
Kring-apotheek de Vijzel
1073 EN Amsterdam
van Baerlestraat 101
1071 AV Amsterdam
This pharmacy is located just across from the monument at Dam Square, in the city centre and is one of the few pharmacies in Amsterdam that is open on Saturdays.
1012 JM Amsterdam
This drug store, on one of the city’s main shopping streets, the Leidsestraat, has a pharmacy that is accessible through the store. The pharmacy is open daily from 9.00-21.50.
1017 PD Amsterdam