Most pharmacies sell medicine without prescriptions, and you can freely purchase medications that would require prescriptions in Western Europe or the United States, such as birth control and antibiotics. Even if your medication required a prescription in your home country, you may be able to obtain the same medication at a pharmacy in Moscow without one.
Pharmacists are educated and knowledgeable medical staff. You can, for example, bring in your current medication, and they will find the same or equivalent medication by examining and comparing the active ingredients. A pharmacist can also recommend medication for non-emergency situations.
If you require medication that is not available without a prescription, its best obtained from your doctor in Moscow. A foreign prescription will not be accepted.
Pharmacies are almost as common as corner grocery stores in Moscow, and you can easily find one nearby. They are often open 24 hours a day and are all identified clearly by the term apteka – in fact, most pharmacies don’t have any name besides this. Most pharmacists will not speak English, and there are no chains that specialize in hiring English-speaking staff. You may get lucky and find one at a pharmacy nearby, as some pharmacists have been educated abroad. If you need to be sure to have an English-speaking pharmacist, you should visit the on-site pharmacy of an English-speaking private clinic (see Best Facilities and Practitioners).
The following chains have branches all across Moscow. But don’t hesitate to step into any other individual pharmacy you see, as well.
23 Moscow locations, including several 24-hour braches.
39 Moscow locations, including several 24-hour branches.
3 Moscow locations, all in the city center.