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Singapore – Prescriptions and Medications

If you are planning to visit or live in Singapore, it is important to understand the local practices when it comes to medications. In this article, we will answer the following questions:

  • What are pharmacies called in the local language in Singapore? What does the sign outside pharmacies look like in Singapore?
  • What are pharmacy opening times in Singapore?
  • Can common medicines be bought over the counter or do they require a prescription in Singapore? Can medicines be ordered online?
  • How are prescriptions paid for in Singapore?

Pharmacies in Singapore

In Singapore, pharmacies are commonly known as “pharmacies” or “drugstores” in English, and “药房” or “yào fáng” in Mandarin. The sign outside a pharmacy is usually a green cross on a white background, which is recognized globally as the symbol for a pharmacy.

Pharmacy Opening Times

Pharmacy opening times in Singapore vary depending on the location and day of the week. Most pharmacies are open seven days a week, including public holidays, and are usually open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

However, there are also 24-hour pharmacies located in some hospitals, which provide round-the-clock access to medications and medical supplies.

Medications in Singapore

In Singapore, most common medications such as painkillers, cough syrup, and allergy medication can be bought over the counter without a prescription. However, some medications that are considered to be more potent or that have a higher risk of abuse, such as sleeping pills or strong painkillers, require a prescription.

It is important to note that the rules regarding over-the-counter medication in Singapore may differ from those in your home country. Therefore, it is always advisable to check with a pharmacist before purchasing any medication, especially if you are unsure about the dosage or potential side effects.


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In addition, it is also possible to order medications online in Singapore. There are several online pharmacies that offer home delivery of medication, but it is important to be cautious when ordering medication online. Always ensure that the online pharmacy is legitimate and that the medication you are ordering is safe and legal.

Prescription Medications

If you require a prescription medication in Singapore, you will need to visit a doctor who will write you a prescription. Once you have the prescription, you can take it to a pharmacy to have it filled.

When you go to a pharmacy to have a prescription filled, you will need to provide your health insurance details. If you have Singaporean health insurance, such as MediShield Life, you may only need to pay a small co-payment for prescription medication. The amount of the co-payment will depend on the medication and your health insurance policy.

If you do not have Singaporean health insurance, you will need to pay the full cost of the medication. It is advisable to check with the pharmacy beforehand to get an idea of the cost of the medication, as prescription medications in Singapore can be quite expensive.

Payment for Prescriptions

As mentioned earlier, if you have Singaporean health insurance, you may only need to pay a small co-payment for prescription medication. The amount of the co-payment will depend on the medication and your health insurance policy.

It is important to note that the cost of prescription medication in Singapore can vary widely depending on the type of medication, the dosage, and the pharmacy. Some pharmacies may offer discounts or promotions on certain medications, so it is advisable to shop around before filling a prescription.

If you do not have Singaporean health insurance, you will need to pay the full cost of the medication. Payment for medication in Singapore can be made in cash or by credit card, and some pharmacies may also accept payment by mobile phone.

In conclusion, if you require medication while in Singapore, it is important to be familiar with the local practices when it comes to prescriptions and medications. Pharmacies in Singapore are commonly known as “药房” or “yào fáng” in Mandarin, and the sign outside a pharmacy is usually a green cross on a white background.

Pharmacy opening times in Singapore are generally from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days a week, including public holidays. Most common medications can be bought over the counter without a prescription, but some medications may require a prescription from a doctor.

When filling a prescription in Singapore, you will need to provide your health insurance details. If you have Singaporean health insurance, you may only need to pay a small co-payment for prescription medication, but if you do not have Singaporean health insurance, you will need to pay the full cost of the medication.

Finally, it is important to exercise caution when ordering medication online and to ensure that the online pharmacy is legitimate and that the medication you are ordering is safe and legal.


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