Navigating the New Era of E-Prescriptions in Germany


Starting this year, a significant change has swept through the German healthcare system – the introduction of the electronic prescription, or E-Rezept. Gone are the days of the familiar pink paper prescriptions; we’ve officially entered the digital age of healthcare! Let’s dive into what E-Rezept is and how it impacts your visit to the pharmacy.


What is the E-Rezept?

The E-Rezept is an electronic prescription system, a digital leap from traditional paper prescriptions. Since January 1st, doctors have shifted to prescribing medications electronically for those with public health insurance.

All prescription medications must now be issued via E-Rezept. Non-prescription but pharmacy-required medications can still be prescribed on paper. Future plans include expanding the E-Rezept to cover therapies and aids like physiotherapy or wheelchairs.

The obligation to use the e-prescription only applies to doctors that prescribe to publicly insured people. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, private prescriptions, previously on blue paper, can also be issued as e-prescriptions if the system used in the doctor’s practice supports this. However, patients need an app from their health insurance company and a digital identity (health ID). So if you are in private health insurance, you might have to wait a little longer.


How to get prescriptions at the pharmacy?

It’s straightforward! Here is how to do it:


 1. Download the new “Das E-Rezept” app and register with your insurance card.

2. Visit your doctor as usual.

3. If you receive a prescription, it will be automatically updated in your card and app.

4. Optional: You can request a paper printout of the E-Rezept.

5. When visiting the pharmacy, you have 3 options: 


  • Using the Health Insurance Card: Just present your card at the pharmacy, and they will retrieve your prescription from the central server.
  • Via the E-Rezept App: Show the prescription code on the app.
  • In case you asked for the paper printout, simply present it at the pharmacy.

E-Rezept App – A Handy Tool

The E-Rezept App is a gem, allowing you to send prescriptions to pharmacies in advance, check medication instructions, and even view past prescriptions. It’s free and easy to use, requiring just your health insurance card and NFC-enabled smartphone.

The app streamlines the process of getting your medication. You can know in advance if your medication is available at the pharmacy or if it needs to be ordered. Home delivery options are also a bonus, especially for those living far from pharmacies.

Need to pick up medicine for a family member or a neighbour? The E-Rezept App’s family function lets you redeem prescriptions for others, making it convenient to care for loved ones.

The E-Rezept is more than just a digital prescription; it’s a time-saver and a safety enhancer. No more multiple trips to the doctor for repeat prescriptions. Plus, with all prescriptions stored centrally, pharmacists can better spot potential drug interactions.

The prescription holds a 28-day validity from the day of issue. Other types of prescriptions, like the green ones for non-prescription but pharmacy-required drugs, have unlimited validity, while private prescriptions are valid for three months. 



The E-Rezept marks a significant and overdue advancement in Germany’s healthcare system and general digitalization, blending convenience with technology. While it might take a bit of getting used to, the benefits of this digital system are undeniable. So, next time you visit your doctor or pharmacy, remember – the future is (finally) digital, and it’s here to simplify your healthcare experience!


More useful information and updates will follow, so stay tuned!

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