Healthplan Spain


Suticase full of holiday clothes and medication drugs Can You Bring Prescription Medicines Into Spain? Expat Tips

If you are visiting Spain or are a resident here and travelling back into the country, it could be that you need to bring prescription medication with you.

However, it’s important to know which medications you can bring into Spain, how much you can carry and what documentation you may need.

Below we cover the most important points so you don't encounter any issues with border officials.

Can I bring prescription medication or controlled drugs into Spain?

Yes, you can.

Under Spanish law, you are permitted to bring medication into the country if it is for personal use.

The official government of Spain website states, “Article 74 of Law 29/2006 of July 26th states that: medication that accompanies travelers following a medical treatment is excluded from the established protocols in the previous articles."

However, it is important to note that there are limitations on the quantity of prescription drugs that you may bring into the country.

As a rule, you should only be carrying up to 3 months' worth of medication. If any more and you may need to apply for a licence from the Spanish Agency of Drugs and Health Products (AEMPS).

Note also that according to the UK government website, there are “some products prescribed for health conditions with you into the EU. These include special food required for medical reasons containing meat or dairy. There are some exemptions. Read more about taking animal products, food or plants with you into the EU on the Your Europe website.

What documentation will you need?

If you are bringing any form of controlled medication with you when entering Spain, you should have a copy of your prescription.

You should also have a letter from your doctor which details the following.

  • Your name
  • What countries you’re going to and when
  • A list of your medicine, including how much you have, doses, and the strength
  • The signature of the person who prescribed your medication/s.

The UK government website stresses the following to those travelling to Spain.

You need a letter to prove your medicine is prescribed to you if it contains a ‘controlled drug’. You may need to show this at the border when you’re entering or leaving the UK and Spain.

The Spanish government website says, “Thus, in order to avoid problems with the Spanish customs office, it is recommended that the patient traveling with medication to Spain brings a doctor’s prescription/medical report that justifies the treatment.

If possible, try to keep your medication labelled and in the original containers/boxes.

What about uncontrolled drugs?

Medicines that do not require a prescription are classed as ‘uncontrolled’ and can therefore be brought into Spain in your hand luggage or suitcase.

It is also worth bearing in mind, however, that some medications that do not require a prescription in your home country may require one in Spain.

If you are in any doubt about where you stand with the medication you want to bring into Spain, you should contact the Spanish consulate in your home country for clarification.

It is important to know that there is a very good chance that you will never be asked for the above information. Many people on travel forums who travel to Spain regularly claim that they have never been asked to provide proof when travelling with personal medication.

However, once again, if you are in any doubt, you should contact the Spanish consulate in your country and obtain a letter from your doctor to be on the safe side.

How can I get my UK prescription medicine in Spain?

If you are from the UK and visiting Spain, you can use your prescription to obtain medications, including specialised food necessary for medical reasons.

Note that prescription medications in Spain are not provided free of charge. While an EHIC or GHIC entitles you to a discounted rate, you will still be responsible for the following charges:

  • 50% of the prescription price
  • 10% of the prescription price if you receive a UK State Pension ‒ you may be required to provide evidence of your pensioner status to qualify for this reduced rate.

Can I use a prescription from another EU country in Spain?

Yes, you can.

A prescription provided by a doctor in one EU country holds validity across all other EU countries. However, a medication prescribed in one country may not be readily available or might bear a different name.

If you wish to use a prescription issued by your doctor in another EU country, commonly referred to as a "cross-border prescription," you have the option to request one. There is no specific form or template for such a prescription. Typically, the prescription you receive in the country of issuance should already encompass sufficient information for use in another EU country. It must include, at a minimum, the following details:

  • Patient information: full surname and first name, along with the date of birth.
  • Prescription issuance date.
  • Prescribing doctor's details: complete surname and first name, professional qualifications, direct contact information, work address (including the country), and a signature (whether written or digital).
  • Details of the prescribed product: its generic name (as opposed to the brand name, which may differ in another country), format (tablet, solution, etc.), quantity, strength, and dosage.