When you purchase health insurance coverage (through your employer or individually) in New York City, you are usually supplied with a card which enables you to buy prescription drugs as well. As in the case of medical insurance when you go to a pharmacy in New York City with your prescription, you are expected to pay a charge as co-payment. The amount of this co-payment depends on the kind of coverage that you have purchased from your medical insurance company.

Pharmacies in New York City are a combination of traditional pharmacy and convenience store and in addition to providing prescription and over-the counter medicines, pharmacies also sell a wide array of toiletries and personal hygiene products. They all sell food, small appliances, stationery, candy and chocolate, magazines, make-up, toys and many other items.

Some of the large chain pharmacies that operate in New York City are Walgreens, Duane Reed, Rite Aid and CVS. They have locations throughout the city and many of them are open 24 hours a day.

In addition to English, these pharmacies provide written information about the drugs they dispense in languages such as Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and French. Duane Reade, essentially a New York based pharmacy chain, offers services and drug information is nearly 170 other foreign languages as well.

Most pharmacists that work at the outlets of these chains can give you advice on non-emergency health care issues and also prescribe certain over the counter drugs. However all other drugs require a prescription which either your doctor gives to you or sends directly to a pharmacy that is frequented by you.

Pharmacies in New York City do not accept foreign prescriptions and if you are already using certain medication when you move to New York City, your best bet would be to visit a New York based doctor who will then, after a consultation, give you a prescription that will enable you to buy your drugs at a local pharmacy.

Some pharmacies like Duane Reade and CVS also run health clinics which offer basic health services to New Yorkers who do not have or cannot afford health insurance. All the pharmacy chains offer online shopping.

The largest pharmacy chains that operate in New York City are:

Walgreens – (http://www.walgreens.com/)

Duane Read – (http://www.duanereade.com/)

CVS – ( http://www.cvs.com/CVSApp/user/home/home.jsp)

Rite Aid – (http://www.riteaid.com/)