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Bulgaria – Prescriptions and Medications

Pharmacies and Prescription Medications in Bulgaria

Pharmacies, or аптека (apteka) in Bulgarian, are widely available in Bulgaria. In fact, the country has one of the highest densities of pharmacies per capita in Europe, with approximately one pharmacy per 1,300 people.

Signage and Opening Times

Pharmacies in Bulgaria have a green cross sign outside their store, similar to many other European countries. They can be found in almost every neighborhood and are usually located near medical facilities such as hospitals or clinics.

The opening hours for pharmacies in Bulgaria are typically Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm and on Saturdays from 9:00am to 1:00pm. However, some pharmacies may be open later or on Sundays, particularly in larger cities or tourist areas.

Prescription Medications

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In Bulgaria, prescription medications can only be purchased with a valid prescription from a doctor or dentist. It is illegal to sell prescription medications without a prescription, and those caught doing so may face legal consequences.

Non-prescription medications, such as painkillers or allergy medication, can be bought over the counter without a prescription, but it’s important to note that the pharmacist may ask questions about the patient’s symptoms and medical history before selling the medication. Some medications that may be available without a prescription in other countries, such as antibiotics, require a prescription in Bulgaria.

Medications that are allowed to be sold over the counter will have a green label and prescription-only medications will have a red label. The labeling on medication packaging in Bulgaria is typically in Bulgarian, but some medications may have an English translation as well.

Ordering Medications Online

Online pharmacies are available in Bulgaria, but it’s important to ensure that the website is legitimate and follows all legal requirements. The Bulgarian Drug Agency maintains a list of licensed online pharmacies on their website, and patients can check whether a particular online pharmacy is licensed before making a purchase.

Payment for Prescriptions

Prescriptions in Bulgaria are typically paid for out of pocket, although some insurance plans may cover part or all of the cost. The cost of medications varies depending on the medication and the pharmacy, but prices are generally lower than in other European countries.

In some cases, pharmacies may offer a discount if a patient purchases a larger quantity of a medication or if they have a loyalty card. Some pharmacies may also offer home delivery for medications, particularly for patients who are unable to leave their homes.


Pharmacies in Bulgaria are easily accessible and offer a range of medications, both prescription and over the counter. While prescription medications require a valid prescription from a doctor or dentist, non-prescription medications can be bought over the counter without a prescription. Online pharmacies are also available, but it’s important to ensure that they are licensed and legitimate. The cost of medications in Bulgaria is generally lower than in other European countries, and some pharmacies may offer discounts or home delivery for medications.

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