Greece Travel Pharmacy Tips Page 1
Pharmacies in Greece are a bit different from what you may be used to back home. What strikes me as most different is that they are so much smaller compared to the USA pharmacies I am used to, like WalMart, CVS, Wahlgreens, Rx., etc which are more like fortresses or part of bigger stores.
In Greece pharmacies are small little places run by one guy or a father-daughter-son type variation. Greece is smaller than the USA of course but has its own pharmaceutical laws and schools which are E. U. regulated to a certain extent. They even manufacture some of the licensed drugs here in Greece too. After all Asklipious and Hippocrates we healing people in Greece millennia ago so why not allow them to manufacture under license today?
Another big difference is the pharmacists aren't worried about getting ripped off by junkies because they don't have any heavy opiates laying around. There are plenty of junkies in Greece though and they'll come in and buy a syringe or two while you are in line. I guess the Greek Police is totally incapable in stemming the irresistible tide of money, I mean drug smuggling, passing them by. But that's not so bad if you are in a hurry because that junky is in a hurry too!
You could instead come in behind a little old lady who has social security paying for her medication and she'll have paper work for 5 or 6 different medications and will have to go over each one with the pharmacist and get them stamped while you just want to buy some ibuprofen for your hangover. (Because you can buy prophylactics, sunscreen and even aspirin at some kiosks, too try them too if they are closer.)
On Saturdays and Sundays Pharmacies are closed.
So to cut down on waiting around you may start to plan when the best time to go to the pharmacy will be. For me, I go first thing in the morning at 8 or 8:30 AM. We don't always have that luxury because on Saturdays and Sundays Pharmacies are closed. That's right! On the busiest day of the week too. Not only are they closed on Saturdays and Sundays but on the rest of the days of the week they all don't keep to the same schedule. See the schedules below.
My pharmacist told me that the pharmacists union passed the resolution not to work on Saturdays or Sundays long ago. Pharmacists in Greece study for 4 or 5 years to get their degrees a lot like dentists and doctors come to think of it. All three of these professions set up wherever they feel like. You could have a dentist or a doctors office next to your apartment. Pharmacies, fortunately, always stick to the more retail ground floor store approach.